Tuesday 10. November, 2015

Gambling Losses Skyrocket in Victoria

Victorians lost $5.8 billion gambling in the past financial year, an increase of 7.7 percent on the previous year, according to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation. As a result, the state government collected $1.6 billion in gambling tax revenue.

Victorians lost money on gambling across the board with greater losses year on year recorded for poker machines, casinos, lotteries, sports betting and keno. However, the greatest loss and almost half of the total loss in Victoria was recorded on poker machines where Victorians lost $2.57 billion, a rise of 2.7 percent compared to the same time last year.

Another $1.9 billion was lost at Melbourne’s Crown Casino on poker machines and table games. This was followed by $857.9 million in sports betting losses, $500.6 million in losses on lotteries and $16.7 million in losses on keno.

The poorest suburbs are spending the most on poker machines with Brimbank Council, one of Melbourne’s most disadvantaged areas, reporting $141 million in losses on poker machines over the year. According to the Commission, close to two thirds of all hotel gaming machines reported average player losses of more than $12,500 per machine.

There are 27,000 gaming machines in Victoria. The Andrews Government is planning a trial that will link all gaming machines across the state and allow punters to set a loss limit – a preset amount they can lose. However, critics of the $197 million pre-commitment system say that it is unlikely to be successful if it is voluntary as the people who need it most are the least likely to use it. According to Dr Charles Livingstone, from the school of public health at Monash University, a serious pre-commitment system would need to be mandatory to be successful.

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