Australians Lost Over $7.74B on Poker Machines Last Year

By | September 7, 2022
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Scrutiny of the Australian gambling sector continues with a new study showing that Australians lost more than AU$11.4bn (US$7.74bn) on slots, or poker machines, in pubs and clubs across five states last year.

The figures compiled by Monash University’s Gambling and Social Determinants Unit showed that in the 30 years to 2019 poker machine losses at hotels and clubs in Australia amounted to AU$308.4bn.

The study revealed that New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and Tasmania lose AU$11.4bn annually, the equivalent of AU$658 for every adult resident. For players using poker machines, the average loss across the five states was AU$3,429 per year.

Annual losses totalled AU$5.4bn in NSW and AU$2.2bn in Victoria. Those amounts decreased by an average of 17% or a total of AU$1.6bn compared to 2018-19 due to pandemic restrictions.

Charles Livingstone, Monash University associate professor, said: “Previous trends are likely to resume after the easing of pandemic restrictions with hotel and club gambling machines total expenditure for 2022-23 likely to exceed AU$13bn across Australia.”

Tim Costello, the chief advocate at the Alliance for Gambling Reform (AGR) has called for the federal government and states to establish a national gambling harm regulator “to reduce the terrible toll gambling is wrecking on Australian society”.

“A regulator can bring the states together, it can progressively reduce the number of poker machines, it can fast-track harm minimisation measures such as digital wallets. At the moment there is no coordination and no will to act,” he added.

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