Gamblers’ pokie losses up in shire
GAMBLERS have lost more than $1,677,514 on gaming machines at Mansfield Golf Club in the past financial year.
That’s an increase of $163,168 or 10.77 per cent - four times the state average - on gamblers’ previous year’s losses of $1,514,346.
Secretary manager of Mansfield Golf Club, Chris Anderson, said the rise in revenue from the club’s 40 machines reflects rising patronage at the club, which hs been working hard to promote its on and off course facilities. (See further story page 2).
New data published by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation shows that in 2014-15, Victorians lost $2.57 billion on the state’s 26,000 poker machines - a rise of last 2.7 per cent more on the previous financial year.
The Victorian Government last week announced details of a trial system that will give punters the option of pre-setting how much they are willing to lose on gaming machines.
The scheme links all the state’s machines so players can track how much they have spent, regardless of which machine or venue they played.
The Victorian pre-commitment system will mean players will be able to set limits both on the time they spend playing gaming machines and on their losses.
It will also enable players to track their playing history and spending over time so that they can get a much clearer idea of how much time and money they spend playing gaming machines.
The scheme is set to be introduced in Victoria by December this year.
But gambling reformers have slammed the project as nothing more than “pressing the snooze button” on a legal gaming machine industry that delivered more than $1 billion to the state budget.
Minister for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, Jane Garrett, said the government shared community concern around the impact of gambling and poker machines.
“We are committed to reducing gambling-related harm in the community,” Ms Garrett said.
“The voluntary pre-commitment scheme is just one of the tools people can use to help them stay in control of their gambling.”
The massive losses have renewed calls for more to be done to reduce the harm of poker machines, including limiting bets to $1.