A GIS-based Investigation of Gaming Venue Catchments


Address for correspondence: Bruce Doran, Fenner School of Environment and Society, College of Science, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia. E-mail: Bruce.Doran@anu.edu.au


Globally, the growth of the gambling industry in recent decades has raised questions about the potential for community costs associated with gambling development. In order to minimise the harms and maximise the gains for local, state and national economies, in many jurisdictions the industry is heavily regulated. Regulators rely upon a wide range of information sources to assist in decision making and are often concerned with issues that have socio-spatial characteristics. Despite this, there have been few applications of geographical information systems (GIS) to gambling behaviour. This paper trials the use of a GIS-based approach to investigate one aspect of gambling regulation, namely the spatial characteristics of gaming venue catchments. The research was conducted in a suburban region of Canberra, Australia. The results from the study show that the catchment areas of gaming venues can vary considerably and are more complex than previous studies have suggested. The regulatory implications of the findings are discussed as well as possible avenues for further GIS-based research into gambling.