Close Search
 
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
News  |  Social AffairsCommunity

Poker machine losses exceed $60 billion in Victoria alone


18 July 2022 at 4:26 pm
Danielle Kutchel
The money lost on poker machines dwarfs that spent on addressing social needs in the state, including social housing reform.


Danielle Kutchel | 18 July 2022 at 4:26 pm


0 Comments


 Print
Poker machine losses exceed $60 billion in Victoria alone
18 July 2022 at 4:26 pm

The money lost on poker machines dwarfs that spent on addressing social needs in the state, including social housing reform.

The amount lost on Victorian poker machines has topped $66 billion in the 30 years the machines have operated in the state, according to new analysis by the Alliance for Gambling Reform.

Using publicly available information from the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission, the Alliance released the figure on the 30th anniversary of the introduction of poker machines in Victoria.

The figure is based on the annual and monthly data available which highlight the yearly electronic gaming machine expenditure since 1992. 

The figure is enormous when compared, for example, to the $5.3 billion over four years being spent by the Victorian government to build more than 12,000 social housing homes. This year’s state budget committed $75 million in upgrades to homelessness support services. Meanwhile, the state’s funding for fixing mental health in the wake of the Royal Commission stands at just over $5 billion.

When poker machines were first introduced in 1992, only 10,000 machines were allowed. There are now 30,000 machines allowed in Victoria, with 26,321 machines in pubs and clubs and 2628 at Crown and a maximum of 105 allowed at each venue except for Crown.

The betting limit in machines is now $5, compared to a $2 limit in 1992.

The Alliance has called the $66 billion loss a “tragedy”.

“The tragedy of this $66 billion figure is the profound damage this presents to countless people, families and communities,” the Alliance’s chief advocate, Tim Costello, said.

“Back [in 1992] Victoria started with 10,000 machines, today there are almost 30,000 poker machines and despite mandatory closing laws operators have found loopholes to provide gambling access 24 hours a day – and in some of Victoria’s most vulnerable communities.”

In 2004, the Victorian Government legislated to reduce opening hours of poker machine venues from 24 hours to 20 hours a day in an effort to minimise the harm from gambling and provide a break for gamblers experiencing harm. 

But the changes did not specify what hours venues must close, and the Alliance said owners with multiple venues are now staggering their hours to provide 24 hour gambling access.

The Alliance has called for urgent action to reduce the impact of losses on Victorian communities, including uniform, mandatory closing hours from 2am to 6am in all poker machine venues, and the lowering of maximum bets on all machines to $1.


Danielle Kutchel  |  @ProBonoNews

Danielle is a journalist specialising in disability and CALD issues, and social justice reporting. Reach her on danielle@probonoaustralia.com.au or on Twitter @D_Kutchel.

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au or download our contributor guidelines.

Advertisement

2022 Salary Survey

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Your email address will not be published.



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Community-led program will supply free RATs as federal program ends

Danielle Kutchel

Monday, 1st August 2022 at 4:18 pm

Insurer funds anti-racism program with pulled Collingwood sponsorship

Danielle Kutchel

Tuesday, 12th July 2022 at 2:05 pm

From multicultural to inclusive: there’s more work to do

Violet Roumeliotis

Monday, 4th July 2022 at 3:24 pm

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook
×

News for those with purpose.

Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Thank you - you have successfully subscribed.

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!