Expose NSW's gambling problem
NSW is the capital of this pokies empire. Half of the country's poker machines lie within their borders, and the clubs, pubs and state government have resisted all attempts to reform the industry for decades.
Their industry is shrouded in secrecy; NSW is the only state in Australia that refuses to make poker machine statistics freely available. These statistics can be used to drive better and more targeted reforms, identify communities most at risk, and devise more effective strategies for harm management, but rather than making the data available, the NSW govt charges for it. And they charge a lot.
That's where we come in.
I'm a former poker machine addict. I lost years of my life to the machines, but I was able to get out and rebuild. For the past 7 years I've been an outspoken advocate for gambling reform ; I've been analysing poker machine statistics from around the country for years, publishing my findings and working for real reform in the poker machine industry. I also maintain a list of pokie-free venues around the country, but there's one massive hole is all of this... and that's NSW.
I'm looking to raise $5000 to legally purchase a number of reports from Liquor & Gaming NSW, covering poker machine data in clubs and pubs across NSW. Once I have the reports, I will not only be able to publish my findings but will also be able to more accurately provide listings of pokie-free venues in NSW.
The reports covered include:
* Gaming machine annual reports by LGA for both clubs and pubs, covering two years
* State rankings by gaming machine profit quarterly reports for both clubs and pubs, covering the past 8 quarters
* Gaming machine statistics quarterly reports for both clubs and pubs, covering the past 4 quarters
* Number of gaming machines per venue report, which includes a listing of all NSW venues with poker machines and how many they have.
I can't afford to spend $5000 on reports; most people can't, and the NSW government knows it. So I'm asking you to chip in and help me raise the funds to get the data they don't want anyone knowing about.
And once we've got it, I'm going to publish everything on my gambling reform blog, Cyenne ( www.cyenne.com ).
It's time we made this information public. And it's time the NSW government and the poker machine industry realised they can't hide any more.
As usual, the reports have been split up into quarters and also separated between clubs and hotels. The only reason for the NSW government to do this (other than to charge as much as they can!) is to make it harder to read the data. But thanks to your support, we can get hold of ALL of the reports for the past year and really start to make sense of what is actually happening with poker machines in NSW.
As soon as the data lands, I'll analyse it, write it up and make it available for all to see. I can't wait!
Thank you again; you're the ones who have made this possible so far. It's crazy that we need to crowd-fund access to data that should be freely available but if that's the game they're going to play, so be it.
I've made the report available to download from my website, www.cyenne.com, and I've also published my first article based on the data. Just go to the site and click on The NSW Files.
This is great, but only the beginning; we need to get to $2300 to order the next suite of reports, covering financial data for NSW clubs and pubs across the past two years. Let's make it happen!
Thank you to everyone who's donated so far. Your support is fantastic and tremendously appreciated.
Terrific work, Tom. Shining a light on a sad story of the exploitation of ordinary Australians by the gambling industry which includes companies like Aristocrat and the many clubs and pubs which derive profits from this kind of gambling.
Really disgraceful grubby behaviour by NSW and I am of the understanding that they are also witholding a gambling report done a couple of years ago.