Greens reveal $5.46 billion toll of poker machine losses on local communities

New data purchased by NSW Greens MP Justin Field has today revealed the NSW community lost $5.46 billion on poker machine gambling in clubs alone in the year ending August 2016.

The data reveals some of the biggest profits to clubs – the losses to the individual – from poker machines come from the most financially disadvantaged areas across the state, with Fairfield topping the state.

The analysis shows average income lost on poker machines in Fairfield in Sydney’s West was 10.4% of average income based on the regulated average 90% return to players. In stark contrast, average income lost on pokies in Waverley/Woollahra in the city’s East was just 0.65% of income.

“This new poker machine data purchased by the Greens reveals a massive impact where families and communities across NSW are losing billions to addictive poker machines,” Mr Field said today.

“The losses are not experienced equally across the state, with areas home to some of the most financially disadvantaged are propping up the largest profits for the gambling industry. The industry is targeting these communities with huge disparity in the number of machines across venues in those communities.

“NSW Liquor and Gaming data on poker machine operations is not transparent or accessible, unlike in other states. The Government tries to hide the true impact by making people or groups pay hundreds of dollars to find out the cost to their community from poker machine gambling.

“Even purchased data aggregates poker machine losses so people can’t identify which venues are having the greatest impact on local communities or businesses.

“The Greens are calling on NSW Racing Minister Paul Toole to end the secrecy and publish venue by venue data online for free on a monthly basis so the community can readily understand the true impact of this industry. He should stand up for families and communities rather than with the vested interests of big gambling who want their damage kept secret.

“If the Minister can’t or won’t do the right thing, The Greens will purchase this data, analyse it and make it available so the community can have a more informed discussion of the harm caused by poker machines across our state,” he said.

 

Gaming Machine Data by Local Government Area available here: http://bit.ly/1708Pok


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