Wed, Nov 14, 11:44am by Staff Writer
The Queensland State Government’s gaming machine regular has approved 45 pokies at the Indooroopilly Shopping Centre’s Pig n Whistle outlet.
The pub is owned by the Mantle Group and is close to a food court, shops, an Event Cinema and public areas.
The move has come under fire from local residents who have staged rallied, organised a petition and written to authorities about their concerns.
A survey organised by opponents has found that 80 per cent of respondents did not want poker machines at the shopping centre.
A previous application for poker machines was made at the side in 1998 but was rejected by the then Queensland Gaming Commission.
The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation approved this new application some 20 years later on Tuesday.
Local Greens MP Michael Berkman took to Facebook to slam the decision by the State Government to approve the pokies.
“This would mean 45 pokies in a family-friendly environment at the Indooroopilly shopping centre, right next to the food court and cinemas. It’s directly next to the westside’s biggest bus interchange.
“The location is so grossly inappropriate that the regular rejected an almost identical application back in 1998,” Mr Berkman said.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was quizzed on the matter at a press conference on Tuesday saying, “that’s a matter for the independency of the (Office of) Liquor and Gaming (Regulation).”
Queensland has a statewide cap of 19,500 gaming machines for hotels and taverns.
The cap is managed via a scheme where any licensee who wishes to install and operate gaming machines must first purchase an operating authority for each one via a tender process organised by the public trustee.
In this case, the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation has stated that the licensee had submitted a community impact statement as part of its application.
The spokesman from the Office said, “the machines would not be visible to persons outside of the hotel, including from inside the shopping centre.
Further, as a condition of their license, the licensee is required to ensure the gaming machine area is under constant supervision to ensure that minor do not enter the area.”
Queenslanders lost $2 billion on pokies in the last 12 months to July 2017 according to a report from the Brisbane times.
A$215 million was lost in a single calendar month in July 2017 on poker machines, while A$79 million was lost at casino’s in the preceding month of June.
The loss of A$215 million on pokers machines represents the highest amount lost on record, with figures dating back to 2004.
The Queensland government received A$687 million in revenue from gaming machine taxes in 2016-17 according to budget papers, with that figure estimated to increase to A$718 million in 2017-18.
— Nine News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) November 13, 2018
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.
Poker machines are referred to as slot machines in some parts of the world and pay off according to patterns of symbols visible on the front of the machine when it shops.
They are the most popular gambling method in casinos and constitute about 70 per cent of the average US casino’s income.
The machines are typically programmed to pay out as winning 82 per cent to 98 per cent of the money that is wagered by players, known as the “theoretical payout percentage” or “return to player”.
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.
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