by Andy Young

Consumer gambling data from Roy Morgan Research has revealed that 1.2 million Australian adults play poker machines at least once a week.

The data also showed that 2.9m Australian adults have played poker machines in the last three months.

Fifty-one per cent of those who played poker machines in the last three months said they decide how much to spend before participating — among frequent players, the rate is slightly higher at 52 per cent. Frequent players are also more likely to agree that “win or lose, I still enjoy it” (51 per cent, compared with 46 per cent of all players in a three-month period) or “I play to win” (44 per cent vs 42 per cent). 

Angela Smith, group account director, Roy Morgan Research, said: "One of the fundamental revelations in the documentary 'Ka-Ching: Pokie Nation', airing on ABC earlier this week, may not surprise anyone: poker machines are designed to encourage players to keep playing. 

"Our research into gambling trends and behaviour shows that the majority of occasional or frequent players say they decide how much to spend before participating—but most of those people playing pokies once or more a week also say they enjoy it whether they win or lose while less than half play to win. 

"Frequent players are more loyal to particular venues, more likely to use winnings to play again, and more likely to plan to gamble rather than go on the spur of the moment. While the 1.2 million people playing once a week or more are not necessarily all problem gamblers, their attitudes may help highlight some of the potential drivers or signs of problem gambling."

The research also showed that 41 per cent of frequent players generally go to the same place each time, while just 30 per cent of all players are regulars at a particular venue. Over a quarter of frequent players, 27 per cent, say they use their winnings to play again, which is above the norm of 22 per cent.

Earlier this week the Gaming Technologies Association published an opinion piece on TheShout, responding to the claims made in the ABC’s ‘Pokie Nation’ program.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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