8684.0 - Gambling Services, Australia , 2004-05  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/09/2006   
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1 This publication presents a range of statistics relating to businesses involved in the provision of gambling services for the 2004-05 financial year. This is the fourth time the ABS has published statistics on gambling services. Previous issues of this publication were in respect of the 1994-95, 1997-98 and 2000-01 financial years.

2 This publication also includes separate estimates in respect of the 13 casinos operating in Australia. This is the ninth census of Australian casinos conducted by the ABS. The most recent previous census was in respect of the 2000-01 financial year.


3 Data in this publication are based on surveys of businesses on the ABS Business Register, classified to the following eight classes of the 1993 edition of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) and which sourced part of their income in the form of net takings or commissions from the provision of gambling services:

  • 5720 Pubs, Taverns and Bars
  • 5740 Clubs (Hospitality)
  • 9311 Horse and Dog Racing
  • 9312 Sports Grounds and Facilities n.e.c.
  • 9319 Sports and Services to Sports n.e.c.
  • 9321 Lotteries
  • 9322 Casinos
  • 9329 Gambling Services n.e.c.

4 For each of the above industries a significance cut-off was used in determining the scope of the surveys. These were as follows:
  • 5720 Pubs, Taverns and Bars - employing and non-employing businesses with turnover in 2004-05 of $400,000 or more
  • 5740 Clubs (Hospitality) - employing and non-employing businesses with turnover in 2004-05 of $400,000 or more
  • 9311 Horse and Dog Racing - all employing businesses and only those non-employing businesses with turnover in 2004-05 of $135,000 or more
  • 9312 Sports Grounds and Facilities n.e.c. - all employing businesses and only those non-employing businesses with turnover in 2004-05 of $135,000 or more
  • 9319 Sports and Services to Sports n.e.c. - all employing businesses and only those non-employing businesses with turnover in 2004-05 of $135,000 or more
  • 9321 Lotteries - employing and non-employing businesses with turnover in 2004-05 of $150,000 or more
  • 9322 Casinos - all businesses were included. Businesses mainly operating online casino game sites were excluded
  • 9329 Gambling Services n.e.c. - employing and non-employing businesses with turnover in 2004-05 of $150,000 or more.

5 A number of other industries, such as newsagents, which may be involved in the provision of gambling services were not included in the scope of the surveys.


6 The ABS uses an economic statistics units model on the ABS Business Register to describe the characteristics of businesses, and the structural relationships between related businesses. The units model is also used to break groups of related businesses into relatively homogeneous components that can provide data to the ABS.

7 In mid-2002, to better use the information available as a result of The New Tax System, the ABS changed its economic statistics units model. The new units model allocates businesses to one of two sub-populations. The vast majority of businesses are in what is called the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Maintained Population, while the remaining businesses are in the ABS Maintained Population. Together, these two sub-populations make up the ABS Business Register population.

ATO Maintained Population

8 Most businesses and organisations in Australia need to obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN), and are then included on the ATO Australian Business Register. Most of these businesses have simple structures; therefore the unit registered for an ABN satisfies ABS statistical requirements. For these businesses, the ABS has aligned its statistical units structure with the ABN unit. The businesses with simple structures constitute the ATO Maintained Population, and the ABN unit is used as the economic statistics unit for all economic collections.

ABS Maintained Population

9 For the population of businesses where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical requirements, the ABS maintains its own units structure through direct contact with the business. These businesses constitute the ABS Maintained Population. This population consists typically of large, complex and diverse businesses. The new statistical units model described below has been introduced to cover such businesses:

  • Enterprise Group: This is a unit covering all the operations in Australia of one or more legal entities under common ownership and/or control. It covers all the operations in Australia of legal entities which are related in terms of the current Corporations Law (as amended by the Corporations Legislation Amendment Act 1991), including legal entities such as companies, trusts, and partnerships. Majority ownership is not required for control to be exercised.
  • Enterprise: The enterprise is an institutional unit comprising (i) a single legal entity or business entity, or (ii) more than one legal entity or business entity within the same Enterprise Group and in the same institutional subsector (i.e. they are all classified to a single Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia subsector).
  • Type of Activity Unit (TAU): The TAU is comprised of one or more business entities, sub-entities or branches of a business entity within an Enterprise Group that can report production and employment data for similar activities. When a minimum set of data items is available, a TAU is created which covers all the operations within an industry subdivision (and the TAU is classified to the relevant subdivision of the ANZSIC). Where a business cannot supply adequate data for each industry, a TAU is formed which contains activity in more than one industry subdivision.

10 For more information on the impacts of the introduction of the new economic statistics units model, refer to Information Paper: Improvements in ABS Economic Statistics [Arising from The New Tax System] (cat. no. 1372.0).

Comparison Over Time

11 Prior to the 2004-05 collections, the Gambling Services collections used the management unit as the statistical unit. The statistical unit in the 2004-05 collections was the ABN unit for businesses with simple structures, and the TAU for businesses with complex structures. In most cases, ABN/TAU units concord with the management units used in the previous collections.


12 The frame used for the Gambling Services collections, like most ABS economic surveys, was taken from the ABS Business Register. The ABS Business Register is updated monthly to take account of new businesses and businesses which have ceased employing.

Improvements to Coverage

13 Data in this publication have been adjusted to allow for lags in processing new businesses to the ABS Business Register, and the omission of some businesses from the register. The majority of businesses affected and to which the adjustments apply, are small in size.

14 Adjustments have been made to include new businesses in the estimates in the periods in which they commenced operations, rather than when they were processed to the ABS Business Register. Adjustments of this type will continue to be applied in future periods.

15 For more information on these adjustments, please refer to the ABS publication Information Paper: Improvements to ABS Economic Statistics, 1997 (cat. no.1357.0).


16 Annual data for gambling services are also published in Australian Industry (cat. no. 8155.0). There are important differences between the statistics published in the Australian Industry and Gambling Services publications and users should exercise caution when making comparisons between the two sets of estimates.

17 The Australian Industry publication presents annual summary statistics at the ANZSIC class level. It shows the relative performance of each industry class, and allows patterns of change or growth to be analysed across particular segments of the Australian economy. The industry estimates presented in Australian Industry are used in the compilation of the National Accounts, and in the derivation of economy-wide indicators such as gross domestic product.

18 The Gambling Services publication supplements the annual industry summary statistics with a detailed examination of the performance, structure and activities of businesses involved in the provision of gambling services for the reference year of the survey.

19 One reason the two sets of estimates vary relates to the use of different industry coding practices. For the Australian Industry publication, businesses are coded to ANZSIC industry classes on the basis of the activity reported to the ATO when they registered for an ABN, or for more complex businesses, on the basis of information reported directly to the ABS (see Explanatory Notes paragraphs 6-11). On the other hand, Gambling Services presents estimates for ANZSIC Classes 5720, 5740, 9311, 9312, 9319, 9321, 9322 and 9329 based on detailed financial data reported in the survey.

20 Other differences in results relate to scope and coverage variations between the two surveys. All non-employing businesses were included in the scope of Australian Industry, however only employing and significant non-employing businesses were in scope of Gambling Services (see paragraphs 3-5 of the Explanatory Notes).


21 While comparisons are made between the 2004-05 and 2000-01 estimates, the reader should bear in mind that the 2004-05 collections were not designed to support accurate estimates of change, and should exercise caution when comparing 2004-05 estimates to the 2000-01 estimates. In particular the changes between 2000-01 and 2004-05 in the scope of the collections will affect the comparability of the estimates. The 2000-01 collections were restricted to employing businesses whereas the scope of the 2004-05 collections (which is outlined in paragraph 4) included significant non-employing units and in some cases excluded insignificant employing businesses.

22 In addition, lottery agents were excluded from the scope of the 2000-01 collections and included in the 2004-05 collections; and accommodation businesses were included in the scope of the 2000-01 collections and excluded from the 2004-05 collections.


23 Data were collected in respect of the Australia-wide operations of each business. Where the business operates in only one state or territory, all the activities of the business are attributed to that state or territory. For example, businesses operating lotteries, lottos, football pools, etc. generally operate from one state or territory, though they may have sales, usually through agencies, throughout Australia. Businesses operating in more than one state or territory were asked to provide a dissection of key data items by state and territory to enable state and territory statistics to be compiled.


24 When interpreting the results of a survey it is important to take into account factors that may affect the reliability of estimates. Such factors can be classified as either sampling or non-sampling error.

25 The estimates are based on information obtained from a randomly selected stratified sample of businesses in a range of industries involved in the provision of gambling services in the Australian business population. Consequently, the estimates in this publication are subject to sampling variability, that is, they may differ from the figures that would have been obtained if all units had been included in the survey (that is, if a census was conducted). One measure of the likely difference is given by the standard error (SE), which indicates the extent to which an estimate might have varied by chance because only a sample of units was included.

26 There are about two chances in three that a sample estimate will differ by less than one SE from the figure that would have been obtained if a census was conducted and approximately 19 chances in 20 that the difference will be less than two SEs.

27 Sampling variability can also be measured by the relative standard error (RSE), which is obtained by expressing the SE as a percentage of the estimate to which it refers. The RSE is a useful measure in that it provides an immediate indication of the sampling error in percentage terms, and this avoids the need to refer also to the size of the estimate. The table overleaf contains estimates of RSEs for a selection of the statistics presented in this publication.

RELATIVE STANDARD ERRORS FOR TABLE 2.2, Net takings from gambling by type of gambling and venue

Net takings

Poker/gaming machines in clubs, pubs, taverns and bars
On-course totalisator
Off-course TAB
Thoroughbred, harness and greyhound betting
Thoroughbred, harness and greyhound betting bookmakers
Lotteries and lotto style games
Lotteries, lotto style games and football pools
Instant money
Keno in clubs, pubs, taverns and bars
Casino gambling
Other gambling
Gambling takings received online

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)

28 As an example of the above, an estimate of the total net takings is $15,459.7m and the RSE is 1.2%, giving a standard error of $185.5m. Therefore, there would be two chances in three that, if all units had been included in the survey, a figure in the range of $15,274.2m to $15,645.2m would have been obtained, and 19 chances in 20 (i.e. a confidence interval of 95%) that the figure would have been within the range of $15,088.7m to $15,830.7m.

29 The sampling variability for estimates at the state/territory level was higher than for Australian level aggregates. Survey estimates for states/territories should therefore be viewed with more caution than those for Australia.

30 Errors other than those due to sampling may occur in any type of collection and are referred to as non-sampling error. For this survey, non-sampling error may result from such things as deficiencies in the register of businesses from which the sample was drawn, non-response, imperfections in reporting and/or errors made in compiling results. The extent to which non-sampling error affects the results of the survey is not precisely quantifiable. Every effort was made to minimise non-sampling error by careful design and testing of questionnaires, efficient operating procedures and systems and the use of appropriate methodology. Survey estimates subject to a high level of non-sampling error have been suppressed or provided with relevant cautions.

31 Estimates that have an estimated relative standard error between 10% and 25% are annotated with the symbol '^' . These estimates should be used with caution as they are subject to sampling variability too high for some purposes. Estimates with an RSE between 25% and 50% are annotated with the symbol '*', indicating that the estimate should be used with caution as it is subject to sampling variability too high for most practical purposes. Estimates with an RSE greater than 50% are annotated with the symbol '**' indicating that the sampling variability causes the estimates to be considered too unreliable for general use.

32 As the census of casinos does not have a sample component, the data are not subject to sampling variability. However, other inaccuracies collectively referred to as non-sampling error may affect the data. These non-sampling errors may arise from a number of sources, including: errors in the reporting of data by respondents; errors in the capturing or processing of data; estimation for missing or misreported data; and definition and classification errors.


33 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of the components and the total. Similar discrepancies may occur between a proportion or ratio, and the ratio of the separate components.


34 Data contained in the tables in this publication relate to businesses involved in the provision of gambling services in Australia during the year ended June 2005. Financial estimates include the activity of any business that ceased or commenced operations during the year. Counts of businesses include only those that were operating at 30 June 2005, with the exception of business counts in Table 4.5 which include businesses that operated at any time during 2004-05. Employment includes only those persons working for businesses involved in the provision of gambling services during the last pay period ending in June 2005.


35 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

36 The ABS acknowledges the valuable contribution of the various state and territory gaming authorities in providing the poker/gaming machine counts presented in Table 2.5 of this publication.


37 Inquiries about these statistics and more detailed statistics than those presented in this publication should be made by telephoning the contact shown on the front page.