Record AU$14.5 Billion Spent by Australians on Poker Machines Last Year
According to published reports, the Australian gambling industry has enjoyed record profits from poker machines (so called pokies), which generated around AU$14.5 billion for their owners last financial year. This figure is up significantly from the previous year, despite the cost of living crisis many citizens are currently experiencing.
The state of New South Wales was the biggest gainer, with its residents losing 8.07 billion Australian dollars on slot machines. The next highest revenue was Queensland with 3.2 billion, followed by Victoria with 3 billion.
At the same time, the fact that this huge amount was brought in only by pokies located in pubs and clubs is interesting. The statistics do not include machines located in casinos and gaming areas.
Australia has only 0.5% of the world's population, but 20% of all poker machines in the world are located in this country. At the same time, about 80% of these slots are located outside licensed casinos.
Carol Bennett, director of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, said the latest figures were "really worrying" and made it clear that the industry needed more regulation.
"These alarming loss statistics indicate that the industry is out of control. And these numbers don't even take into account losses in our casinos. It must be remembered that gambling losses lead to a very high level of harm to our entire society, be it financial loss, family breakdown, domestic violence, anxiety, depression and even suicide. And it's an impact that we need to pay attention to."
She also voiced her worries, noting that the alarmingly high number of pokies in New South Wales (approximately 87,000) significantly contributed to the issue.
One of the ideas proposed by Bennett and her Alliance to help solve the gambling problem was the idea of setting a maximum spending amount per player of no more than 1,500 AUD. However, this proposal did not find support.