Hume Gamblers Have Spent $70M Since the Beginning of Year
The latest figures released by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation have raised concern with researchers and community health experts. The newly released data indicates that Hume residents have spent more than $70 million on poker machines in the area within the last financial year.
In the six months from July to December last year, Sunbury gamblers spent more than $9.3 million on the pokies, suggesting that they are headed towards total spending of $20 million for the year. Sunbury has 230 poker machines. In the Macedon Ranges, more than $6 million was poured into their 103 poker machines.
While community health experts and researchers believe that fewer people are gambling, these figures suggest that those that are gambling are likely to be problem gamblers and this has been met with concern.
Sunbury Community Health child, youth and family services manager, Marcus Bosch, said that councillors in his facility have observed that many people who receive redundancy payouts are turning to gambling and becoming addicted.
According to Mr Bosch, they’re “often unaware that the payouts result in a preclusion period, preventing them from receiving Centrelink benefits. Without work they can suddenly find themselves lonely and isolated, with time on their hands and their redundancy payout available to them.”
“Many people still aren’t aware that gambling can develop into a genuine addiction, similar to substance addiction, which is why it has such a destructive impact on the lives of so many people,” he continued. “Gambling addiction doesn’t just affect the person with the addiction, but has flow-on effects to family members and friends.”
Mr Bosch went on to say that the harm caused by poker machines outweighs any benefits, including any jobs they may generate and the increases in economic activity caused by them.
April 16, 2017