Impact of electronic gaming machine (EGM) late night play on EGM player behaviours

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Impact of electronic gaming machine (EGM) late night play on EGM player behaviour

About the study

This study was funded by the Responsible Gambling Fund (RGF) and conducted by Roy Morgan Research to provide insight and evidence on: 

  • the profile of those who regularly use EGMs late at night, particularly post-midnight 
  • the extent of displacement to nearby venues which have later trading hours, should a venue close 
  • demand from late-night workers for recreational play during this period and the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) profile of the shift worker community 

The methodology

This study surveyed 625 people in NSW who had used EGMs in the previous nine months, both over the phone and online. Survey questions covered EGM gambling participation, behaviour (including time of day) and risk of problem gambling, as well as demographic and socioeconomic details including whether they were late-night workers.

Key findings

The research findings support previous NSW evidence which found that there are risks associated with late-night EGM play. Key findings include:

  • Late-night EGM gamblers were more intense gamblers (participation and behaviours) and significantly more likely to be experiencing problem gambling. The later into the early hours of the morning (i.e., after 2am, and after 4am), the higher the problem gambling risk became.
  • Venue closures would limit access and reduce harm for late-night EGM gamblers, and gamblers at risk of problem gambling, particularly for those experiencing problem gambling, through having a break, allowing them to reassess their spending and time gambling on EGMs.
  • Recreational EGM gamblers and late-night shift worker EGM gamblers would be very minimally affected by venue closures given their low demand for continued EGM gambling after venue closure. 
  • Most EGM gamblers who experienced venue closure and wanted to continue EGM gambling, did not go onto another venue. There were no recreational gamblers among EGM gamblers who went on to gamble at another venue, indicating no demand for late-night EGM gambling after venue closure for recreational EGM gamblers.
  • There is a group of EGM gamblers who from a gambling behavioural and participation viewpoint are more intense EGM gamblers.That is, they gamble at more types of venues, gamble on EGMs more frequently, spend more money in a session, gamble more days of the week, are members of loyalty schemes across two or three venue types, and are more likely to gamble alone, and consequently, have significantly higher levels of problem gambling risk. This group of EGM gamblers would benefit most from venue closures.

The findings will be used to inform decision making by Hospitality and Racing and the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority.

Suggested citation

Stevens, M. & Roy Morgan Research. (2023). Impact of electronic gaming machine (EGM) late night play on EGM player behaviours. Commissioned by the NSW Responsible Gambling Fund.

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