Gambling, Resource Distribution, and Racial Economy: An Examination of Poker Machine Expenditure in Three Remote Australian Towns

Martin Young, David Lamb, Bruce Doran

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Our aim in this paper is to examine the ways in which electronic gaming machines (EGMs) redistribute resources to and from three remote towns in the Northern Territory (NT), namely Katherine, Tennant Creek and Nhulunbuy. We describe EGM expenditure levels in each town at the level of the individual venue, examine patterns of socioeconomic status within each town, explore the ways in which EGM markets are racialised through venue gate-keeping practices and spatially-based alcohol regulations, and examine the effects of resource redistribution mechanisms designed to return a proportion of EGM profits to host communities. The ability of venues to draw resources from extremely disadvantaged groups from the remote periphery is of central concern when attempting to assess the societal consequences of gambling in remote towns, both in terms of individual harm and the adequacy of resource redistribution. Existing mechanisms for resource redistribution are both selective and relatively meagre, pointing to a political and racial economy of EGM gambling that transfers resources from remote towns to sites of centralised 'white' power. We conclude that political economy in the context of remote NT towns may not be understood outside a consideration of racial economy and the way that constructed notions of race operate to legitimate existing processes of economic exploitation and resource redistribution. � 2010 The Authors. Geographical Research � 2010 Institute of Australian Geographers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)59-71
    Number of pages13
    JournalGeographical Research
    Issue number1
    Early online date5 Oct 2010
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


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