Guidelines for preparing a community impact analysis

A community impact analysis (CIA) should be carried out by qualified professionals, preferably with experience in gaming.

Independent review

It must be an objective, professional and independent review of the potential social and economic impacts of gaming machines on the local community and is considered a report to the Director General of Licensing, not to the applicant. 

You may have to repeat the exercise if it looks as if the CIA has been drafted purely to support your application, rather than as an independent assessment of its social and economic impacts.

The CIA must include details of whoever prepared it and their qualifications and/or experience. They must also declare any direct or indirect interest in the application or its outcome.

Topics to cover

A community impact analysis should contain information and analysis of all of the following topics. 

Local community area (LCA)

This is defined as the area that will be mainly affected by the proposed gaming machine operation. Identifying the LCA is key to the impact analysis. Be clear about the area chosen and why you have chosen it. 

Use the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Statistical Local Areas to define your area. For more information visit the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.

Factors to consider when defining the LCA include all of the following: 

  • the size and type of venue eg local tavern, sporting or community club
  • the sorts of people who patronise the venue
  • how many members you have and where they live - for club sites only
  • any physical access barriers - eg: major roads, waterways
  • the location of other gaming sites and distance to them
  • cultural or social factors  
  • population density of the area.

Contact Licensing NT if you need help with this.

Local community area profile

Briefly describe the local area, including how it came to be defined, its history, general nature, and any future plans affecting the area.  


Include all of the following:

  • map of the local community area 
  • background information about the area including demographics and its industries and businesses
  • information about gaming sensitive sites
  • a site profile
  • details of community consultation including the engagement method used and findings from consultation
  • signed statements from community representatives verifying the information they have provided.


Provide a demographic profile of the area with data on all of the following characteristics:

  • total population
  • number of people 18 years and over
  • the area's rate of population growth
  • age and sex distributions
  • levels of education reached
  • people's occupations
  • people's ethnic background
  • individual and household income levels
  • numbers of people with jobs, unemployed or not in the labour force
  • the cost of buying or renting a house
  • type of household eg families, single parents, single people
  • socio-economic levels  for the area - refer to the website SEIFA (Social and Economic Index for Areas) Index of Disadvantage for the Local Community Area
  • the local government area
  • crime rates for the area.

You can find a lot of the demographic information on the Australian Bureau of Statistics' website through the Census of Population and Housing: Basic Community Profile. You must also provide up-to-date estimates of the area's population, population growth and unemployment.

Where an official estimate is unavailable, clearly explain how you calculate the estimated figures.

Businesses and industries

List the key industries and businesses in the area, highlighting those likely to be affected, either positively or negatively, by the proposal.

Gaming-sensitive sites

List the gaming-sensitive sites in the area, and show them on a location map. Include all of the following:

  • gambling help service providers
  • emergency relief providers
  • pawnbrokers or credit providers
  • shopping centres
  • schools
  • child care centres
  • other community meeting venues  -eg: churches and community centres
  • sporting venues
  • aged care facilities
  • welfare services.

Site profile

Provide all of the following information about the proposed venue:

  • location
  • number of gaming machines applied for and/or current number of gaming machines
  • additional number proposed
  • size and type of venue
  • amenities other than electronic gaming machines available - eg: pool tables, darts etc
  • patron type - current and proposed membership and/or numbers; proportion living near the site or elsewhere; proportion working in the local area but not living there; demographics and frequency of visits for these groups. For an existing site, you can conduct an exit survey of patrons to get this information.

Consultation requirements

You must provide evidence of community attitudes towards the proposal, gained from direct discussions with a range of community representatives. 

Include a report of the results of the pre-submission consultation process, detailing outcomes of any meetings or discussions held in relation to the proposed application.

In particular you must include information showing all of the following:

  • an indication of the attitude of the community towards your specific application - rather than gambling in general
  • whether there is problem gambling in the community
  • in the instance of a club - what the members think about the application.

Who to contact

It is expected that, at the very least, you will contact representatives from all of the following:

  • local community help groups, welfare and emergency relief providers eg Amity Community Services, NT Shelter, Foodbank NT, Anglicare NT and St Vincent De Paul
  • financial assistance counselling services eg Somerville Community Services
  • health care providers
  • business and industry associations
  • community leaders
  • cultural groups
  • local community groups
  • local residential groups
  • club members.

If you miss out any of the groups, you must explain why.  

Verify the information

You must tell the community representatives about the proposal, and how the information you gather will be used. 

You must get a signed statement from each organisation confirming that the comments you have recorded are true and correct and that the representative is authorised to speak publicly on the organisation's behalf.

All information you collect during the community consultation must be attached to the CIA.

If your information is considered inadequate or biased, you may have to do further consultation work.

Response to community concerns

The CIA must address community concerns arising out of the consultation process, and show what actions, if any, you propose to take in response to those concerns.

How to assess impacts

The purpose of a CIA is to investigate the potential social and economic impacts of your proposal. 

This should involve visiting the local community and talking with people, rather than relying solely on desktop research.

Your assessment should include the duration and severity of any impact, and compare the effects on the local community with and without the proposal.

If you think a particular impact is not relevant, explain why it does not apply. If you have identified impacts not covered in the list below, include them in the CIA and explain why you have added them.

If you can't find the information you need for the specific area, you can use estimates or projections based on other information. You must substantiate your claims, detail how you arrived at any conclusions and indicate the level of confidence in the estimates. 

Cross-validate any claims with other data sources. If you can't find any information, detail any unsuccessful attempts to get it.

Fully reference all data and information presented in your CIA, and provide a detailed explanation of all the methods you used to analyse it including assumptions and limitations.

What impacts to assess

You must provide a detailed analysis of all of the following types of impacts.

Social impacts

Problem gambling or potential for problem gambling in the Local Community Area (LCA)

Include details on all of the following:

  • the prevalence of problem gambling in the local area
  • the demand for help services
  • any indicators of financial or emotional stress eg low discretionary income, high levels of welfare benefits and allowances, high unemployment, low educational attainment, high housing costs, low levels of home ownership, high levels of public housing, high demand on welfare or emergency assistance providers, high levels of single parenting, high levels of crime or high levels of disadvantage.

You can get this information by talking to venue staff, gambling help service providers and other local representatives and from the Australian Bureau of Statistics website's Census of Population and Housing: Basic Community Profile. You can also include social or economic research relating to the area.

Gaming sensitive sites in the Local Community Area 

Detail how close the proposed venue is to any of the listed gaming sensitive sites. Talk to gambling help service providers and other community representatives about what impact that is likely to have on people who go to the gaming-sensitive sites.

Accessibility of gaming machines and gaming machine sites in the LCA

Include all of the following information:

  • number of gaming machines
  • number of sites
  • machine density ie number of gaming machines per 1,000 adults
  • site density ie number of gaming sites per 1,000 adults in the area
  • physical accessibility of the site and the gaming area eg location a main road, site visibility or marketing activities which may affect accessibility.

Contact Licensing NT for some of this information.

Expenditure on gaming machines

Include details of the annual expenditure per adult in the LCA. You can get this information from Licensing NT.

Synergy with neighbouring businesses / residences / community facilities

Include details of the venue's neighbours - eg: homes or businesses, and how they are likely to interact with the gaming site. 

Compatibility with amenity or character of the Local Community Area

Include details on all of the following:

  • the history of the area
  • any future plans and developments
  • the surrounding industry or business profile
  • the demographic profile.

You can get this information from the local community profile, and by talking to the local council and local community representatives.

Lifestyle, recreational and other social impacts

Include details on all of the following:

  • the use of gaming or site facilities [ content owner: what information are you looking for here?]
  • social interaction  [ content owner: what information are you looking for here?]
  • existing, or proposed accreditation, of any on-site child care
  • for Category 2 licence applications, the value of contributions to the local community, both financial and in-kind.

Effectiveness of the site’s responsible gambling activities

You must demonstrate that gambling activities at the venue will be conducted in a responsible manner.

Describe how the proposal's responsible gambling strategies specifically address the impacts identified in this assessment including how it will meet the requirements of the Northern Territory Code of Practice for Responsible Gambling and any other measures aimed at reducing gambling harms.

Economic impacts

Site employment

Include details on all of the following:

  • how many people are employed at the venue – expressed as full time equivalents (FTE)
  • how many more people (FTE) will be employed as a result of the proposal – only relevant for applications for an increase in the number gaming machines
  • type of employment ie full time, part time or casual
  • the activity area of employment ie gaming, hospitality or administration
  • whether employees are sourced from the LCA. 

Impact on local businesses

Include details on all of the following:

  • possible business closures or openings as a result of the proposal
  • potential loss or increase in sales as a result of the proposal, particularly for hospitality or retail businesses
  • how the proposal will impact on local employment.

Gaming revenue

Provide a 12-month forecast of the venue's net gaming revenue, expressed as an absolute figure and as a percentage of the overall projected net revenue. Clearly show how the figures were calculated, and identify revenue from existing gaming machines as well as predicted revenue the proposed ne gaming machines.

Contributions and other economic impacts

Include details and supporting documentation for all of the following:

  • the economic value of contributions to local community ie sponsorships, donations, grants
  • the value of contracts to supply goods and services
  • the value of construction or development associated with proposal.

Overview of impacts

Write an overall conclusion about the net social, the net economic and the overall net impact of the proposal on the local community. 

To make this meaningful and accurate, it must be a balanced and complete view of the impacts resulting from the proposal. Highlight any areas of concern.

Last updated: 14 March 2016

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