Pokies profits continue to soar showing failure of Coalition Government gambling reform

Independent NSW MLC Justin Field has called out the Berejiklian Government for failing the community as new poker machine data show losses have risen across the state since the Government introduced gambling reform one year ago.

Data published by NSW Liquor and Gaming show annual poker machine losses in NSW reached almost $6.5 billion in 2018. This amounted to a 3% rise in losses since the Government introduced a raft of gambling reform in March 2018 that was supposed to be aimed at curbing the impact of poker machines.

Annual losses for the 2018 calendar year from clubs climbed to almost $4 billion and losses from pubs also increased to $2.5 billion.

Despite a slight fall in the number of machines state-wide, the reforms passed last year have seen many machines move from lower profit areas in regional venues to higher profit areas in Sydney. This has driven total losses higher.

Independent MP Justin Field said, “This data shows losses from pokies continue to rise. These losses are being felt in our communities and show a total failure of Government policy to address gambling harm. Poker machine harm in NSW continues to get worse, not better, and that’s shameful.

“I am calling on the new Minister for Customer Service, Victor Dominello, who has responsibility for liquor and gambling to take a new approach to gambling in NSW and realise the damage that pokies do to communities across NSW. NSW already has the highest density of poker machines in the world and the highest gambling losses per person outside Las Vegas. These losses are only getting worse under the NSW Government’s policy.

“Communities like the Illawarra, Western Sydney and the Central Coast are particularly hard hit from pokies losses and this data shows it is only getting worse.

“The gambling industry has an overt influence over our politics and it is time this Government called that out and prioritised the needs of the community. The allegations against Woolworths-owned ALH Group for deliberately manipulating their customers have gone nowhere.

See NSW Liquor and Gaming data here

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