BRISBANE, Qld (September 21, 2023) — The increase in gambling expenditure (net losses) in Queensland, Australia, over the past year is reportedly attributed to electronic gaming machines (EGMs) as a major factor to the losses. Here is a breakdown on the various types of gambling available in the state,
- Increase in Gambling Expenditure: Gambling losses in Queensland increased by half a billion dollars in a single year, reaching a total of $5.1 billion in the last financial year. This marked an 11.3% increase compared to the previous year’s losses of $4.6 billion.
- Electronic Gaming Machines: Electronic gaming machines were responsible for the majority of losses, accounting for $3.2 billion or 63.2% of the total losses in the last financial year. These machines are often found in pubs and clubs.
- Casino Losses: Casino losses amounted to almost $800 million in the same period.
- Other Forms of Gambling: In addition to electronic gaming machines and casinos, Queenslanders lost $642.1 million through lotteries and $313.8 million through wagering.
- Factors Contributing to Increased Gambling: Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath mentioned that changes in discretionary spending patterns could contribute to the increase in gambling. She also highlighted measures taken by the government to address gambling harm, including funding for Gambling Help Queensland.
- Cashless Gaming: The government is working toward making cashless gaming mandatory for transactions over $1000 in Queensland casinos.
- Concerns and Calls for Action: Carol Bennett, the CEO of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, expressed concern over the significant gambling losses, especially during challenging economic times. She called for both federal and state governments to prioritize addressing this issue.
- Federal Government Action: The federal government introduced legislation to ban the use of credit cards for online gambling.
- Community Clubs: Clubs Queensland, an organization representing community clubs, emphasized that these clubs distribute millions of dollars each year to local organizations for community benefit. They also encourage responsible and sustainable activities within their establishments.
In summary, the substantial increase in gambling losses in Queensland, primarily driven by electronic gaming machines, points to the need for government action and responsible gambling measures to address this issue.
SOURCE: ABC Radio Brisbane.