Tue, Apr 2, 10:11am by Staff Writer
The Queensland Government has been accused of breaking its promise of no more poker machines on the Gold Coast, with a new report showing nine extra machines for the region.
My GC is reporting that the latest monthly figures from the Office of Liquor and Gaming shows there were 6,100 electronic gaming machines approved for Gold Coast pubs and clubs in February, up from 6,001 in January.
Shadow Tourism Minister David Crisafulli says the government says one thing and does another.
“When will this madness end? We keep getting told there will be no pokie increase and yet every time we get a report, piece by piece, inch by inch, another few appear,” Mr Crisafulli said.
“We want a commitment that this isn’t some sort of secret plan by stealth to thrust something onto the community that they don’t want to see occur,” he said.
Southport Sharks tops the list for the higher number of poker machines with 300, followed by Club Southport with 265 and Burleigh Bears League Club, which has 220.
The figures don’t include the 1,600 poker machines at The Star Gold Coast.
Mr Crisafulli says the government has broken its pledge not to increase poker machine numbers on the Gold Coast.
“Either they’re complicit or its happening by stealth or they’re being hopeless and can’t actually do what they’re elected for, but either way, they’re falling and either way it’s the ultimate hokie pokey.”
Poker machines have been a contentious issue in Queensland, particularly with a second Gold Coast casino on the horizon.
Queenslanders lost more than $2.4 billion to poker machine in 2018.
That equates to more than $6 million a day, or a staggering $4,572 every minute.
This eclipses figures from 2017, where $2 billion was lost.
A$215 million was lost in a single calendar month in July 2017 on poker machines,
representing the highest amount lost in a month since figures were taken in 2004.
The Queensland government received A$687 million in revenue from gaming machines in 2016-17 according to budget papers.
The Queensland government distributes almost A$53 million a year from gambling taxes to community groups under the Gambling Community Benefit Fund.
The areas that suffered the most loss included the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Logan, Brisbane South and Ipswich.
Gold Coast pokie numbers keep climbing despite State Government promising no increase for a new gaming resort — prompting the Opposition to say Labor is “addicted” to them. https://t.co/lowwLP0sfD
— Gold Coast Bulletin (@GCBulletin) March 31, 2019
In Queensland, poker machines in pubs and clubs must provide a return rate of 85 per cent while machines located in casinos must provide a return rate of 90 per cent.
With one poker machine for every 67 adults and a gaming table for every 3,862, the Gold Coast has higher concentrations of gaming platforms than other major casino cities.
People on the Gold Coast are the second biggest spenders on gaming in Australia behind Sydney, averaging A$1,277 a year.
The city’s 123 clubs and RSLs, as well as the Star Gold Coast generated A$616 million in revenue for the 2017-18 financial year.
In assessing the viability of a second Gold Coast casino, analysts Macquarie said: “we consider the Gold Coast gaming market to be one of the most competitive within Australia, given significant supply (or saturation).”
The proposed global tourism hub would seek to attract high-profile musical acts, contain apartments, a shopping centre and gaming venue.
The plan aims to attract national and international investors and is expected to boost Queensland’s A$25 billion tourism industry that supports more than 200,000 jobs.
Analysts from Macquarie have disputed the necessity of a second Gold Coast casino despite the projected boost in tourism.
David Gabris and Andy Chuk said the Gold Coast was “not the most attractive market” for a new integrated resort and casino relative to other regions in Australia.
Their analysis centres around the existing casino on the Gold Coast, The Star Gold Coast that has a 45 per cent market share.
Approximately 83 per cent of people opposed a casino on public land at the Carey Park car park at Southport between Australia Fair and the Broadwater Parklands according to the Gold Coast Bulletin.
Southport-based councillor Dawn Crichlow said she intended to ask councillors to back the existing policy of not allowing a tourism hub on Crown land.
Council voted last October to write to the Government to indicate its support for a casino on privately owned land, but not the public-owned Southport site.
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