Pokies, Victoria

You don’t have to look very hard to see that gambling and gaming machines in particular (or pokies as they’re more commonly known) are a hot button topic in Australia right now.

After seeing information about the billions of dollars (sometimes billions in a single local government area) that are turned over by gaming machines in New South Wales (NSW). I wondered if there would be a way to look at the spatial patterns of gaming machines.

Unfortunately, this information is not provided online for NSW. However, in Victoria, it is here.

So after downloading this dataset and running it through the Google Geocoding API, I was able to easily plot all the locations on a map. What I decided would be interesting to look at is how long it would take people to get to their nearest pokie.

Using the excellent tools available at https://www.route360.net and with some very patient and helpful support from Managing Director Henning Hollburg, I managed to make a map that displayed the areas that fell within a 5, 10, 15 and 20 minute walk from a pokie.

That map is available here: http://wherepokies.com

Limitations/caveats: – This will only show venues listed on the Victorian Government website above at the time of downloading (Crown Casino is not included)

-Accuracy is totally reliant on Google Geocoding API

I feel like its hard for me to work out what to make of this map, on one hand as a person from NSW, where there are something like 4 times as many pokies I feel like it is maybe not such a terrible picture, then if I try to consider it from the perspective of a non-Australian observer I wonder if it seems odd that so many people live within a casual stroll of a gambling machine.

What I would REALLY love to do is make the same map for New South Wales, I’m trying to chase up the data from Liquor & Gaming NSW, so watch this space.



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