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Gambling on horse races – for the mugs

I’ll only be mildly interested in Racing NSW’s inquiry into the Waterhouse clan – Singleton spat. Racing isn’t the sport of kings. Its a business that seeks to fleece the pockets of working people who should know better. Apart from the profit margin that accrues to the bookies there are information rents that accrue to [...]

Robert Doyle on gambling

A few weeks back Doyle – operating, I guess, on the basis of steely Liberal principle (!) – argued against local councils imposing extra rates on noxious gambling facilities. Councils – including Melbourne City if it increased its take from Crown – could have earned extra dollars if the proposal had gone through

In today’s [...]

Packer’s casino license

The best option for Sydney is to not renew the Star casino licence in 2019 and certainly not to award Mr Packer a second licence. But in a world of Liberal-Labor Party practicalities that won’t happen. Mr Packer is seeking the award of a second casino licence gratis in 2019 when the Star licence expires. [...]

Pollies work for James Packer in NSW

The Australian Labor Party have enjoyed an ongoing love affair with the Australian gambling industry (here, here, here etc). The latest romance between Packer and the pollies is panning out beautifully in NSW. A second casino for Sydney makes money-sense for James Packer – he can drag in more millions from desperate problem gamblers – [...]

Labor & the pokies

The Labor Party’s leadership has always been close to the gambling industry and it is mainly bogan Labor Party supporters and voters who play the wretched machines designed to accommodate society’s losers. Around Australia almost all machines are concentrated in blue collar electorates and that is where the big gambling losses are concentrated. So it [...]

AFL & NRL move to retain problem gambling revenues

I don’t have a lot of time for Australia’s moronic obsession with football. I am a badge-carrying member of the Anti Football League who does watch a couple of games each year (with pleasure) but I think the preoccupation with these games suggests something fundamentally rotten with our culture.

I guess its a harmless [...]

Pokie sale fiasco

Labor Party corruption and/or incompetence seems to have reached new heights with news today that 27,500 pokies were sold for an average of $37,000 per machine for a 10 year entitlement on each machines. These machines generate on average about $100,000 per year. The report by Victoria’s Auditor General claims that Victorian taxpayers lost up [...]

Packer employs Bitar

Because of the appalling climate change policies of the Coalition I will probably vote Labor in the next Federal election. Unfortunately I might be backing a losing team but I won’t vote for the Liberals while people of Tony Abbott’s ilk are leading the party. It’s a difficult choice for me because I have long [...]

Gambling & government in Victoria

I’ve been too busy to follow the recent news on gambling contracts in Victoria in detail. But there is a smell around this issue that makes me suspicious.

An Upper House parliamentary inquiry into alledged corruption by the State Government and by consulting firm Hawker Britton has returned an open finding although it asserted that [...]

No sovereign risk in Tabcorp/Tattslotto decision

Sovereign risk refers to the possibility that government can change legislation so that they can seize property without any possibility of adequate compensation.

Tony Harris in today’s AFR (subscription required) argues that no issue of sovereign risk arises because Tabcorp and Tattersall’s gaming licences were not renewed by the Victorian Government.

Gaming licences have a [...]

Tabcorp- Tattersall monopoly over pokies smashed in Victoria

In a rare, worthwhile decision the Brumby Government in Victoria have got rid of the Tattersall’s/Tabcorp poker machine monopoly in Victoria. In 4 years all of Victoria’s 27,500 pokies (outside of Crown Casino) will cease being under the control of these duopolists. Individual clubs and pubs will be able to bid for up to 115 [...]

Technological options for limiting problem gambling get a whirl

In an earlier post I discussed the use of technological fixes to limit problem gambling. In The Age a proosal by Victorian Gaming Minister Tony Robinson is advanced to do just that. I’ve been pretty savage with the Victorian ALP’s approach to the gambling issue (here, here) so it is fair that I report positive [...]

Victoria’s Labor Party to tax the poor more

The Labor Party has expanded its regime of taxing the poor in Victoria. Gambling taxes are overwhelmingly borne by the disadvantaged. Moreover, almost all taxes to this point from gambling have come from poker machines concentrated in poor areas – a survey of various posts I have made on this issue is here. Lotteries (Lotto, [...]

Technological fixes address problem gambling

Joshua Gans has an interesting post on technological fixes for dealing with problem gamblers. Essentially Joshua advocates technology to enable gamblers to pre-commit to limiting the extent of their gambling per week. This limits the propensity to get involved in ‘within session’ gambling excesses – running off to use the ATM when you have exhausted [...]

Monopoly casino profits belong to governments disbursing monopoly power

Continuing the gambling posts of recent days it is interesting to observe the punch-up currently going on between Tabcorp and the government of the ‘poker machine state’, NSW.

Tabcorp has a licence to operate the Star City Casino as the only casino in the state. This licence expired last night.

The likelihood of the [...]

Hokey Pokey & the Labor Party

The Four Corners show ‘Hokey Pokie’ dealing with the NSW poker machine industry did not teach me much that was new about the economic impacts of gambling – the full video is online here. Most problem gambling (around 85%) centres on the pokies which in turn comprise about 80% of total gambling. Pokies are overwhelmingly [...]

Gambling in Australia & the pokies

This is an expanded repost of an earlier post. Four Corners has a show on gambling in Australia tonight and I thought I would gather my thoughts and knowledge together before it goes to air. This show mainly targets the pokies and presumably mainly NSW where there are 100,000 of them – more than all [...]

Preliminary thoughts on gambling economics

Recreational gambling is a socially disapproved of activity. That it yields entertainment benefits in the form of service flows rather than material outputs should not be the reason for this disapproval. Services rather than material outputs are a significant source of consumption pleasures for most people – many enjoy viewing football matches, pictures in art [...]

Soak the rent-seeking gambling firms

The decision of the Victorian Government to levy an extra $1300 charge on poker machines to help fund health care is an interesting one. It takes the levy per machine to $4333 which, Tattersall’s chief executive Dick McIlwain laments, could ‘prevent further investment in the industry’ (AFR today, subscription only).

The extra-normal profits the [...]

A stunning poll on pokies

It looks likely according to current opinion polls that Labor will government again in Victoria.

The main prospect the opposition has to stage an upset is to promote its policy of substantially cutting back on poker machines.Quote:

87% of those surveyed supported Mr Baillieu’s policy — rejected by Labor — to cut poker machine numbers [...]