Daily Poker Machine Losses in NSW Hit $23.7m
SYDNEY, NSW (January 25, 2023) — According to local media reports NSW gamblers are losing almost $1 million every hour on the State’s poker machines.
New data released by Liquor and Gaming NSW shows total community losses increased in the third quarter of 2022 to $2.18 billion from 86,568 poker machines in NSW clubs and pubs. Comparatively, daily losses have increased from $21.3 million to $23.7 million.
The Wesley Mission also reported daily losses increased to $23.7 million in the September quarter, up 11 percent from previous figures.
Wesley Mission CEO and gambling reform advocate Rev Stu Cameron said the losses were obscene and cemented the need for real and urgent reforms.
“More than $2 billion lost to pokies in just three months is unthinkable when people are struggling with escalating food, fuel, and energy prices,” he said.
“People experiencing financial hardship can be drawn into gambling, hoping for a win to afford groceries and pay the rent.
“However, any hope is an illusion, and the predatory poker machine industry is positioned in every town and suburb to take advantage of people who may be vulnerable.”
Mr. Cameron called for data on NSW’s 86,500 poker machines to be transparently published by the venue at least every six months.
Liquor and Gaming NSW publishes biannual data on customer losses, taxes, and poker machines by local government area.
But profits made in each venue aren’t identified.
“If we know which venues in each LGA are draining the most money from customers, we can begin to develop effective responses,” Mr. Cameron said.
“Victoria is already doing it, which means they can see where the harm is happening. It’s time we shone a light on gambling harm in NSW.”
The new data will further pressure NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet to release his proposal for a statewide mandatory cashless gaming card.
While promising it will happen, the premier says he will wait for a formal response to a Crime Commission report that exposed how billions of dollars in crime proceeds flow through pokies each year.
Some members of the NSW Government, including the Nationals party, have baulked at mandating the cashless card.
Opposition Leader Chris Minns has promised a cashless card trial on 500 gaming machines while slashing the number of machines statewide.
SOURCES: Yahoo News / Wesley Mission / Liquor and Gaming NSW.