Tuesday 20. September, 2016

Experts Warn Over Gambling Hotspots in Southeast Queensland

The spending breakdown on poker machines in Southeast Queensland has created a stir and prompted experts to renew their warnings on the dangers of problem gambling.

A 9NEWS investigations into gambling in the state revealed a number of “hotspots” in Southeast Queensland where punters are losing more on poker machines compared to in other areas. In total, Southeast Queenslanders lost $137 million on the pokies last month alone.

In the north, clubs and hotels that collected the most money from pokies players included Caboolture Sports Club, Bracken Ridge Tavern and Redcliffe Leagues Club.

In the south, the biggest pokies revenue collectors were Carina Leagues Club, Greenbank RSL, Sunnybank Rugby Union Club and the Runcorn Tavern. On the Gold Coast, the Runaway Bay Tavern and the Southport Australian Rules Football Club are the biggest offenders.

Dr Anna Thomas of the Australian Institute of Family Studies said that the information presented in this study needs to be used to help tackle problem gambling and to understand the issues related to problem gambling.

“Unexpected and high levels of expenditure on poker machines and things like that can have a really devastating impact on the family, very, very quickly,” Dr Thomas pointed out.

However, Dr Charles Livingstone, gambling expert at Monash University, said that the venues themselves cannot be held accountable for high levels of losses on poker machines.

“The machine is a computer; it’s programmed to do what it’s set out to do which is take money off punters,” Dr Livingstone stated. “Winning the major prize on a poker machine is less likely than winning TattsLotto in many cases.”

Queensland poker machines have been shown to pay out only 85 to 92 cents per dollar that is bet.


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