We is winners Cairns

Reef Casino attributed weakness in their EGM (pokie) business to “aggressive competition” particularly from clubs. There is official monthly data from OLGR for the last 3 years which includes locations, EGM numbers and also metered win.

It may be a “win” from the perspective of clubs, pubs and tax collectors but for our purposes we will refer to it as the “metered player loss”. Which is what it is. The net amount lost through the machine by the punters.

The data is provided at SA4, LGA, and SA2 level. However “for privacy reasons, monthly metered win totals for regions with less than 5 operating sites are not released”. This means the only SA2 region in Cairns with available metered player loss data is Cairns City. The data does not include casinos. Reef Casino has more than 60% (500+) of the machines in Cairns City SA2. So that’s all good then we will have to make do without the casino.

Anyway, derivation from the available data of available permutations for our region came up looking like this (ex-casino):

Pokies1

Scale can be deceptive there for the seasonal pattern in the City. Maybe a comparison with Townsville. Cairns is displayed in deep green and Townsville in baby shit yellow:

Pokies2

I hadn’t expected the seasonal pattern in Townsville to be so similar to Cairns or the correlation generally to be so close. However over the period of the data the number of machines in Townsville has remained about the same while Cairns has been a regional star with a 12% increase in reported operational machines. A look at the rolling annual aggregates over the last two years may be better:

Pokies3

Well done Cairns. We is winners. Any tourism boost, or other factor, is more than enough to overcome a population deficit with Townsville for respective LGA’s (161,932 v 195,914) at June 2016.

Most surprising is that the Cairns Post has missed two headline opportunities; when we surpassed Townsville and then cracked the $100 million annual player loss milestone (ex-casino).

Source: OLGR gaming statistics

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