Pokies lumps and bumps

Exuberant growth in Cairns SA4 player tolerance for pokie losses moderated somewhat in December. However still outperformed/underperformed the Queensland average. December monthly y-o-y growth:

Cairns SA4                                   +2.6%

Queensland                                 +1.2%

Cairns City SA2                         +17.6%

Cairns LGA – City SA2               +3.1%

Cairns SA4 – Cairns LGA           -5.6%

Innisfail SA2                              -15.4%


These are statutory reported numbers, not a survey. Not being a player I am intrigued by the volatility that sometimes appears. My perception has been of a steady regular trade, probably including gambling addicts, otherwise reflecting discretionary spending. Some numbers challenge that perception.

The Queensland gaming statistics don’t report any area with less than six venues to protect precious commercial confidences despite being derived from a public licence. This is why Cairns City SA2 is the only area within Cairns LGA with data available (ex casino).

Some of the numbers above are so derived for the area based on the available data. Until last year the numbers for Tableland Shire were withheld but could be derived from the other council areas within the Cairns SA4 area data. Mareeba has since fallen below the threshold so numbers can only be derived for the combined area even though they are withheld for both.

A curiosity is that on the Cassowary Coast they do have two SA2 areas above the threshold with six venues each:

egm december2018 1

Well they look reasonable and well correlated except for December 2017 when there was an extraordinary 19.7% jump in the Innisfail SA2 from the previous year. Must have been a good year for Christmas parties in Innisfail. It even usurped the traditional July/August peak everywhere else in FNQ. That is why the number for Innisfail fell again by  -15.4% in December this year.

Now is where it gets stupid because while data for Johnstone SA2 between these is withheld with only two small venues with ten machines each it can be derived from the other data:

egm december2018 2


Well at least one or both of them had a good tourism season last year.

Update Note: Just to clarify given that there has been an unusual amount of traffic on this Johnstone SA2 = Cassowary Coast Regional Council – Innisfail SA2 -Tully SA2



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