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Kingston’s poker machine losses lower than a year ago

Mon, Aug 12, 12:02pm by Staff Writer

Gamblers in Kingston rank amongst the biggest losers in Victoria when it comes to how much money they lose on electronic gaming machines.

The Bayside News reports Kingston is ranked ninth on the list of total losses on electronic gaming machines per municipality between July 2019 and June 2019.

Neighbouring Frankston council also cracked the top 20.

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation released figures last week showing Kingston punters had lost just over $85.7 million on pokies in the last year.

The amount lost is a small drop from the $86.28 million gambled away in the previous year, but still among the most in the state.

Kingston Council announced their ‘Enough is Enough’ campaign earlier this year, aimed at cutting down on “harm” caused at the 898 poker machines in the area.

Kingston mayor Georgina Oxyley said “community members losing $234,798 a day on pokies is too big a cost.”

“Residents cannot continue to sustain these losses. Pokie addiction needs to be recognised as a public health risk and we call on the Victorian government to introduce a number of urgent reforms to address this,” she said.

Cr Oxley said council was advocating for the state government to “limit the number of pokies allowed in Kingston to 898 poker machines, call for the introduction of a $1 bet limit per push to help stem the flow of big losses, reduce opening hours at gaming venues so that pokies venues must close between midnight and 10am” and “introduce stricter approvals on pokie machine designs, to exclude designs that contribute to gambling harm”.

More than $15 million was gambled away on electronic gaming machines at the Dingley International Hotel in the last financial year, while the Sandbelt Club Hotel raked in over $11 million from their gaming machines.

Losses on pokies at the Royal Oak Hotel totalled more than $9 million.

Alliance for Gambling Reform spokesman Tim Costello said “the royal commission into financial services exposed predatory behaviour in the banking industry and the community has rightly been up in arms about it.”

“Kingston residents should be shouting from the rooftops about how the poker machine industry preys on people living in Kingston and seek an end to this exploitation.”

Tamworth pokies cashing in

Poker machines in the New South Wales town of Tamworth reeled in more than $32 million worth of profits last year.

The recent report showed the region’s poker machine profit was increasing and while people were pouring more, on average, through the machines.

The most recent stats from the New South Wales office of Liquor and Gaming show Tamworth’s one-armed bandits raked in more profit in 2018 than 2017 despite being fewer in number.

Across the pubs and clubs in the Tamworth Regional Council area, pokies made $32,219,732.70.

The New South Wales government’s figures showed the pokies’ plunge in Tamworth had grown despite the number of machines and licenced premises shrinking.

In 2017, the region’s pokie profit was $2 million less than the 2018 tally, topping out at $30,179,144.82.

While the profits were more than 6 per cent higher in 2018, there were 16 more registered machines in Tamworth in 2017 and one additional licenced hotel.

On December 31, 2018 there were 742 gaming machines in 38 pubs and clubs in the Tamworth region.

This meant each machine in Tamworth drew an average profit of $43,422.82.

That’s more than $6000 greater than a year’s salary on minimum wage in Australia ($37,398.40).

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