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Queenslanders lose record amount on pokies in 2018

Thu, Jan 24, 11:42am by Staff Writer

Residents of Queensland lost a record A$2.36 billion in poker machines in 2018.

Across the state, that equates to $270,000 every hour in pubs and clubs alone.

The figure does not include money taken through pokies within casinos, which are not required to break down their revenue for the public.

Despite the number of poker machines in the state remaining steady, the money they collect is climbing in the state.

According to 9 News, in the past 12 months, A$530 million was lost in Brisbane, with another $336 million splurged on the Gold Coast.

Regional centres were not immune from pokies losses either, with A$164 lost in Logan and $A95 million in Ipswich.

The Queensland state government takes up to a 35 per cent tax from pokies profit, with neither major party committed to reducing the number of poker machines in the state.

Queensland has not been far from the spotlight in recent times when it comes to casinos and poker machines.

Site of new pokies a point of conjecture

In November 2018, the state government approved 45 new pokies at the Indooroopilly Shopping Centre’s Pig n Whistle outlet.

The pub, owned by the Mantle Group, is close a food court, shops, an Event cinema and public areas.

The approved pokies machines comes after a previous application made in 1998 was rejected by the Queensland Gaming Commission.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was quizzed on the matter at a press conference in November stating: “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.”

2018 figures exceed records from 2017

Queenslanders lost A$2 billion on pokies in the 12 months to July 2017 according to The Brisbane Times.

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.

Month-by-month figures of 2018 pokies losses are not yet available.

The Queensland government received A$687 million in revenue from gaming machines in 2016-17 according to budget papers, with that figure expected to increase to A$718 million in 2017-18.

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.

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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