Gold Coast Pokies Profit up Over $5 Million
In April 2013 profits from pokies on the Gold Coast stood at $20 million. The profits from pokies in the same region in March 2016 grew to over $25.4 million. This increase of over $5 million in three short years points to the health of the thriving gambling industry in the area.
You might think this was created by a large increase in the availability of poker machines, but the total number of machines only increased from 5,518 to 5,675. This small increase in machines, less than 3%, can hardly be credited with the increase in profits of over 21%.
Glenn Tozer, Gold Coast councilor, has used this news to try to gain some political traction. He stated there’s a link between poker machines and the financial stress of families who are having a hard time supporting themselves.
“Basically, I don’t support any net increase in the number of poker machines in the city.”
“There’s a clear link between the availability of these machines and financial stress in families who can least support themselves. While I’m not principally opposed to games of skill in a casino setting, automated machines that take advantage of people who have been shown to be least able to manage their behaviour are not in the interest of us becoming the city I hope we’ll become.”
Peter Stojanovic agrees with Tozer, stating that the majority of the increased losses are being absorbed by a small number of problem gamblers. Stojanovic is a member of the Relationships Australia Gambling Help Services group. He goes on to claim that the availability of places to gamble goes hand in hand with increased problem gambling.
Here’s one of his quotes:
“So if you increase the number of pokies on the Coast by a significant amount I’d say problem gambling would increase by a similar figure.”
This news comes at the same time that independent MP Andrew Wilkie is trying to pass legislation that would limit the maximum amount wagered per hand on pokie machines to $1. He’s also attempting to limit gambling-related ATM withdrawals to $250.
The first time Wilkie attempted to set a limit on the maximum amount wagered on pokie machines was in 2014. At that time the legislation never made it to the debate process.
Wilkie has a history of calling out parties big and small for taking donations from gambling businesses. He calls this corruption on a grand scale.