Victorians’ poker machine losses rise to $2.6 billion

by admin on July 13th, 2018

filed under 南京夜网

Nick Xenophon (left) and Andrew Wilkie have put gambling reform back on the political agenda. Photo: Paul Jeffers The biggest losses continue to come from some of the state’s most disadvantaged areas. Photo: John Woudstra
Nanjing Night Net

Victorians have lost $2.6 billion on the state’s poker machines in the past 12 months, $44.7 million more than the previous year, figures from the gambling regulator show.

The biggest losses continue to come from some of the state’s most disadvantaged areas. Punters lost more than $143 million in the City of Brimbank in Melbourne’s west, while in the City of Casey in the outer south-east, gamblers poured $124.8 million into poker machines.

Losses were also more than $111 million in Greater Dandenong, Geelong and Whittlesea, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation figures for the 2015-2016 financial year show.

The City of Greater Dandenong is Victoria’s most disadvantaged local government area, according the index of relative disadvantage, SEIFA, which is compiled by the ABS from census data.

The City of Brimbank is ranked third on the scale.

The Epping Plaza Hotel raked in the most cash, with more than $21 million lost at the venue in 12 months.

Gamblers at the Gladstone Park Hotel in Tullamarine lost more than $19 million, while the pokies at three other venues – the Keysborough Hotel, the Plough Hotel in Mill Park and the Kealba Hotel – all took more than $18 million.

Three years after national poker machine reform was abandoned, Senator Nick Xenophon and Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie have thrust gambling changes back onto the political agenda.

With Senator Xenophon emerging as a key player in the new Senate, the pair have once again demanded federal government action on pokies, including a maximum $1 bet limit on the machines.

Monash University public health expert Charles Livingstone said losses had increased again in real terms​.

“Unfortunately, it looks like Victoria’s most disadvantaged people are being exploited by pokie operators to fuel this,” Dr Livingstone said.

“We’ve known for many years that the most disadvantaged areas have the most pokies and the highest losses. Further proof is provided by this year’s data.”

Dr Livingstone backed a push from local governments to have more say on where new poker machines were approved in their communities.

He called on new Minister for Gaming Regulation, Marlene Kairouz – who replaced Jane Garrett after she quit cabinet over the CFA debacle – to make reducing the impact of pokies in the poorest suburbs her first priority.

“The new gaming minister has an opportunity to reform the way the [gambling regulator] operates to give communities more say, and to reduce EGM [electronic gaming machine] venues and numbers in these highly disadvantaged and highly stressed communities,” Dr Livingstone said.

Ms Kairouz said the Andrews government was reviewing poker machine entitlements, including looking at the geographic concentration of the machines.

“Problem gambling is a scourge on our community, and can cause serious harm to some of Victoria’s most vulnerable,” Ms Kairouz said.

“I intend to build on the Andrews Labor government’s strong record of addressing the causes and minimising the harm of problem gambling across the state.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Comments are closed.