The falling revenue of pokies in South Australia

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that despite the booming of the pokies industry all over Australia, in the South, the country is witnessing a backward trend. South Australia only possesses about 13,000 of 200,000 poker machines in the entire country, which gives the industry a value of around $12 billion. Recent trends indicate that activities related to pokies are falling, with fewer people placing bets. At present, the age stricken Adelaide casino houses about 1000 machines, while the remaining are scattered throughout the various pubs and clubs.

Adelaide Casino

The falling gambling activity has become a headache to the already cash-starved state government that relies on gambling activity to meet its tax revenue estimates. There are two possible reasons for this drop. Firstly, declining manufactures and secondly a switch of gamblers to online gambling sites.

At the Adelaide casino (recently got approval for a $300m expansion), they hope to end the traditional practice of allowing gamblers to use buckets of coins by making bills the standard form of exchange. Nigel Morrison, chief of SkyCity Entertainment Group has already initiated talks with the government to consider revision over the existing laws. According to him, the existing technology is antique and outdated. Making customers gamble with coins and tokens is not in accordance to international standards, giving the casino a bad image.

Recent developments in gambling saw the Queensland government allowing punters to insert large denominations like $50 and even $100, a large difference from its previous $20 limit. The Investment bank UBS believes that this change in limit benefited casino operators. Mr. Morrison argues that the removal of such limits did not increase the gambling problem; hence, there is no reason why South Australia should be treated any differently.

Ian Horne, AHA’s state manager stated that South Australia lacks the capacity to invest in modern pokies machines; as a result, revenue numbers have remained flat for a while.