Poker Machine Revenue Climbs in Victoria
While Disadvantaged Gamblers Lose Big
It may surprise most Victorians that the revenue generated by playing poker machines makes their local casinos, pubs, and clubs upwards to $2.6 billion a year. This number seems to be climbing as the spending on pokies has increased by $43 million in just the past year.
What is even more surprising is the local Victorian population that is spending the most on pokies per capita. Citizens living in Dandenong, the most disadvantaged area of Victoria, spend on average $1000 on pokies per person every year. If you combine this with the regions of Whittlesea and Geelong, also disadvantaged areas, they are spending $300 million a year on pokies.
This is by no mistake according to Dr. Charles Livingstone, a gambling researcher from Monash University. He reported that poker machines are found in the highest concentration in disadvantaged areas and locals commonly use them as a “refuge from their stresses.”
Even in light of the Liberal and Labor parties working to introduce legislation to reduce harm, the pubs and clubs that have been targeting the disadvantaged population have improved their marketing and working out ways to increase their individual revenue. Dr. Livingstone believes there is a need for a “new round of reform” as a result of the changing gambling climate in the state.
Regardless of the need for new gambling reform there is little motivation by the local and federal government to introduce legislation any time soon. Much of the revenue generated by pokies is paid out to the states and helps fund many of their local programs. Besides this, the gambling lobbies have a huge level of influence on the state and local level.
While some may stand to fight against the expansion of gambling within the state of Victoria others that are a proponent of gambling freedoms would remind the citizens that much of the money remains within the state and helps fund many of their social programs. If the state didn’t obtain the money through revenue generated by people playing pokies they would likely have to increase state taxes.
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Writer / Editor at the Australian Betting Organization
Michael is originally from Queensland and is an accomplished writer who has worked in the casino industry for several years. He is drawn to anything with a wheel, reel, or dice.
Australian Betting – Copyright 2015
The information provided by the Australian Betting Organization is for entertainment purposes only. We deny any responsibility for financial losses incurred by our readers. The reader is responsible for knowing and following regional gambling laws and regulations. Those seeking information related to gambler's help can visit the Australian Government - Department of Social Services.