SACES is dedicated to undertaking independent, evidence based research into the nature and impact of gambling. Through our staff and close working relationship with research associates from other disciplines including psychology, public health, social research and law, we offer expertise across a range of research areas.

In order to facilitate research and promote public discussion of gambling issues, the Centre has compiled a Gambling Portal which provides access to gambling research and information.  The information and tools should prove useful to researchers, policy makers, gambling industry stakeholders and the general public.

The portal is composed of the a gambling database, important dates in respect of gambling in South Australia, a list of reports and related materials.

  • Gambling database (gaming machines)

    The South Australian Centre for Economic Studies has developed a Gambling Database that provides regional level data on gaming machine activity in South Australian licensed venues (i.e. hotels and clubs but not the casino) in an easy to use format.

    This information will be useful to researchers, local government, industry and the public in understanding the gambling environment in South Australia.

    The database contains information on the number of machines and venues, net gambling revenue and taxation revenue for each region based on data provided by Consumer and Business Services (CBS).  Relative estimates of these measures are also presented on a 'per adult' basis.

    Regions are composed of individual and grouped Local Government Areas and are based on regional definitions used by CBS to publish its regional Gaming Machine Statistics.

  • Important dates

    Racing & wagering
    1838 Adelaide's first race meeting
    1879 South Australia introduces Australia's first on-course totalisator
    1883 All gambling banned on Adelaide racetracks
    1888 On-course totalisator re-introduced
    1933 Off-course betting shop legalised 
    1946 Betting shops closed down
    1967 Totalisator Agency Board (TAB) established for off-course betting
    2002 SA TAB privatised
    1965 Referendum on State lottery receives majority vote in favour
    1966 State Lotteries Act enacted by State Parliament
    1966 Lotteries Commission for South Australia established
    1967 First Lottery Commission tickets go on sale in South Australia
    1978 Instant Money Games ("scratchies") launched
    1981 SA Lotteries and agencies in Victoria and WA form Australian Lotto Bloc.
    1984 Fully computerised betting system launched
    1990 "Club Keno" introduced across the State
    1983 Casino Act enacted by State Parliament.
    1985 Adelaide Casino opens
    1991 Casino authorised to operate casino style electronic gaming machines
    1993 Casino authorised to operate conventional electronic gaming machines
    2000 Casino purchased by SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited
    Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs)
    1993 Gaming Machines Act enacted by State Parliament
    1994 EGMs appear in hotels and clubs
    2000 Government announces freeze on EGM numbers
    2005 Trading system commences, with aim of reducing EGM numbers by 20% (3,000 machines)

    Source: SA Centre for Economic Studies (2006), The South Australian Gambling Industry, and Australian Institute for Gambling Research (1999),  Australian Gambling

  • Publications


    A list of gambling focused reports and research papers prepared by SACES and our research associates is available from the Independent Gambling Research Consortium section of our website.


Gambling news



Regional gaming machine data reveals a dormant gambling market, new highest spender

SACES today released its latest gambling database which provides regional data on electronic gaming machine (EGM) activity in hotels and clubs in South Australia. It reveals that EGM activity at the state level has been dormant but there have been some notable changes in relative expenditure at the regional level.



Betting operations tax revenue options

Department of Treasury and Finance has released a report prepared by SACES regarding the revenue impacts of the Betting Operations Tax (BOT). 


Case studies

Statewide impact assessment

Client: State Treasury

Area of focus: Gambling

Overview: The Centre was commissioned by a State Treasury to analyse the economic, financial and social impact of the gambling industry within the state and to prepare recommendations to ensure consumer and player protection when gambling. This study followed two similar studies in other Australian states.

Community impacts of electronic gaming machine gambling

Client: Victorian Gambling Research Panel

Areas of focus: Gambling

Overview: The Centre was commissioned to consider the community impact of EGM gambling by comparing the starkly different gambling environments that exist in Victoria and Western Australia. Relative differences in gambling expenditure, employment levels and problem gambling were analysed at the State level. Four matched regions in each State were also identified and compared for, inter alia, differences in community attitudes, participation in gaming, the change in local clubs, visits to local GPs, and use of ATMs in hotels and clubs. Regional level data was compiled from community surveys undertaken to assess attitudes and behaviours relevant to participating in gambling, supplemented by interviews with various stakeholders, the gambling industry, surveys of local GPs, financial counsellors and gambling counsellors.