Australian gaming industry suffered at the hands of 2021 lockdowns

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The amount of money punters in Australia’s two most populated states spent on gambling reportedly fell by some $1.26 billion during the height of last year’s coronavirus pandemic as many land-based casinos and slot parlors temporarily closed their doors.

According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, this startling statistic from the third quarter of 2021 concerned the states of Victoria and New South Wales and was included within an official investigation conducted by the Reserve Bank of Australia. The source detailed that the quarterly drop of almost 2% year-on-year was largely due to most of the states’ portfolio of 110,000 gaming machines, which are colloquially known locally as ‘pokies’, remaining out of action.

Examination exercise:

The jurisdictions of Victoria and New South Wales are together home to just over 14.82 million people, which equates to approximately 57% of the entire population of Australia. The probe from the nation’s central bank was reportedly initiated to discover just how much a series of local coronavirus-related lockdowns had impacted a range of industries including hospitality, transport services and gaming.

Reportedly read the Central Bank of Australia investigation…

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“For example, households in New South Wales and Victoria reduced their gambling losses by $1.26 billion in the September quarter of 2021 with most of the 110,000 gaming machines in these states not operating for much of the quarter. Changes in non-gaming machine gambling losses were relatively small across recent quarters with changes in other gambling activities like in-person gambling at casinos and online gambling activity broadly offsetting each other.”

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Preceding plunge:

Inside Asian Gaming reported that the Central Bank of Australia used net losses on gambling activities as the barometer for its findings while disclosing that the tally for the second-quarter of 2020 had plummeted by almost 3% after the country began implementing coronavirus-related interstate travel bans and 14-day quarantine restrictions. However, the investigation purportedly furthermore expressed optimism after finding significant improvements in Victoria and New South Wales gaming spend for both the third quarter two years ago and the fourth quarter of 2021.

The Central Bank of Australia probe reportedly found…

“Unlike some other categories of consumption, gaming machine gambling losses typically rebounded completely once lockdowns ended.”

Online outlook:

Inside Asian Gaming went on to cite a preceding study from the Australian Communications and Media Authority watchdog that had uncovered a swell of 8% year-on-year in the number of Australians who had enjoyed some form of iGaming entertainment last year. The source disclosed that this investigation found 11% of the giant nation’s population had participated in online gambling during 2021 with sportsbetting sitting ahead of video slots, poker and casino-style table games as the most popular activity.

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