Objective: To examine the impact of smoke-free policies in Victorian gambling venues on electronic gaming machine (EGM) expenditure.
Method: Monthly EGM expenditure from July 1998 to December 2005, provided by the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation and the Office of the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner in South Australia, was analysed. The outcome measure was the ratio of monthly expenditure for Victoria to monthly expenditure in South Australia. Intervention analysis and autoregressive integrated moving average modelling were used to assess the impact of the smoke-free policy on expenditure.
Results: The smoke-free policy resulted in an abrupt, long-term decrease in the level of EGM expenditure. The mean level of monthly expenditure decreased by approximately 14%.
Conclusion: The smoke-free policy not only protects hospitality workers and patrons from exposure to secondhand smoke but has also had an impact on slowing gambling losses.
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Competing interests: None.
Funding: AL is supported by the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) and The Cancer Council Victoria. MS is supported by a fellowship from the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth). At the time of preparing this paper MS was supported by a fellowship from the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation.