Gambling losses increase by $1.4 million

An astounding $303,715 has been lost on pokies per day in the City of Whittlesea over the past financial year.

Figures released by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation reveal that the 10 venues in Whittlesea recorded a total of $110.9 million in losses, which is more than $1.4 million more than the horrific losses of the previous year.

The amount of money lost to pokies machines in Whittlesea is the sixth highest of all local government areas in the state and is equivalent to $655 for every adult.

The City of Whittlesea has four of the 10 top commercial venues for pokies losses in all of Victoria.

City of Whittlesea Mayor, Lawrie Cox said Council was advocating for pokies reform for fewer poker machines, reduced operating hours and ‘con-free’ machines.

“It’s critical that pokie addiction is recognised as a public health issue and that urgent reforms are introduced to address this,” Cr Cox said.

“We know poker machines cause harm; in fact they are designed to cause addiction.”

“Addiction to pokies is linked to high levels of mortgage stress, family violence, crime and family breakdown.”

“We know that our community has one of the highest rates of family violence in the state and we also know that 14 per cent of our households are experiencing mortgage stress and 32 per cent are experiencing rental stress.”

“This is a community that cannot afford to lose more than $110 million to poker machines.”

Overall, Victorians lost $2.698 billion on poker machines in the 2018-19 financial year, the second highest amount of losses since pokies were introduced to the state.

This amount is a $3.5 million increase on last year’s losses, and only slightly lower than the all-time record of $2.707 billion in losses recorded in 2008-09.

Expenditure by venue:

The City of Whittlesea now has four of Victoria’s top venues for poker machine losses:

Name

Expenditure

1 July 18 – 30 June 19

EGM Numbers as at 30 June 2019

Rank – losses by Venue in Vic

Epping Plaza Hotel

20,233,635

100

1

Plough Hotel

19,555,135

100

3

Bundoora Taverna

17,944,003

96

7

Excelsior Hotel

16,447,520

89

10

Bridge Inn Hotel

10,432,106

60

70

Epping Hotel

7,717,739

40

118

Casa D’Abruzzo Club

6,552,412

75

141

Epping RSL

4,868,842

45

226

Whittlesea Bowls Club

4,077,934

50

259

Lalor Bowling Club

3,026,841

36

323

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