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Channel Nine News has released a report revealing the biggest pokies expenditure and losses around New South Wales, with the figures showing an increase in the amount of money that’s being spent and lost on pokie machines around the state.
New South Wales has more electronic poker machines than anywhere else on earth besides the US state of Nevada, which is home to the gambling capital, Las Vegas.
Pokies in NSW generated an additional $5 billion in revenue during the 2015-2016 financial year, taking the total revenue to a whopping figure of close to $80 billion.
The top 10 local government areas in NSW that spent and lost the most money on the pokies during 2015-2016 as reported by Channel Nine News are as follows:
- Fairfield – $8.3 billion ($830 million lost) – 3,832 pokies
- Canterbury – $4.1 billion ($410 million lost) – 2,200 pokies
- Bankstown – $4.1 billion ($410 million lost) – 2,732 pokies
- City of Sydney – $3.9 billion($390 million lost) – 3,996 pokies
- Blacktown – $3.2 billion ($320 million lost) – 2,800 pokies
- Parramatta – $2.6 billion ($260 million lost) – 2,037 pokies
- Auburn – $2.5 billion ($250 million lost) – 972 pokies
- Holroyd – $2.2 billion ($220 million lost) – 1,461 pokies
- Penrith – $2.1 billion ($210 million lost) – 2,571 pokies
- Campbelltown – $1.9 billion ($190 million lost) – 1,912 pokies
These statistics reveal that Sydney’s lower socio-economic areas are the ones spending the most on the pokies, resulting in many negative side effects for the local community.
Monash University gambling expert Dr Charles Livingstone said an increase in pokie machines in the Fairfield area means there are now 27 machines for every 1,000 people, a concentration you won’t find anywhere outside of Vegas or Reno. Dr Livingstone said, “What we are talking about is an incredibly profitable business that has some benefits for government, but the benefits are far outweighed by the harm caused, particularly for those in disadvantaged suburbs.”
Budget papers have revealed that the New South Wales government will receive profits close to $1.5 billion in pokies taxes from club and pub operators in the 2015-2016 financial year alone, prompting anti-pokies renegade Nick Xenophon to call pokies the “locusts of the 21st century.”
These figures follow news that the Tasmanian branch of the Nursing and Midwifery Federation has joined the group of more than 40 organisations fighting for pokies to be removed from pubs and clubs around Tasmania, where licensing of pokie machines is currently the subject of a state parliamentary enquiry. Community Voice on Pokies Reform spokeswoman, Meg Webb, said the group’s membership was growing every week.
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