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:
1 July 18 – 30 June 19
EGM Numbers as at 30 June 2019
Rank – losses by Venue in Vic
Epping Plaza Hotel
Bridge Inn Hotel
Casa D’Abruzzo Club
Whittlesea Bowls Club
Lalor Bowling Club