Mil­lions lost on Sey­mour pok­ies

Seymour Telegraph - - NEWS -

Last fi­nan­cial year (2017-18) was very good for the pok­ies op­er­a­tors in Sey­mour.

Ac­cord­ing to the Vic­to­rian Com­mis­sion for Gam­bling and Liquor Reg­u­la­tion, both the Rail­way Ho­tel with its 33 machines and the Sey­mour Club with its 50 machines helped Sey­mour pun­ters lose record amounts.

At the Sey­mour Club, $3 958 739 was lost, and at the Rail­way Ho­tel, $3 107 581 was lost. These are the amounts that were lost, not just spent on the machines.

Sey­mour has a to­tal pop­u­la­tion of 6327. Its pop­u­la­tion of adults (20+ years) is 4914.

So, this town of 4914 adults lost a lit­tle more than $7 mil­lion last year, an av­er­age of $1437 per per­son.

But of course, many adults in Sey­mour do not have any­thing to do with the pok­ies.

Fol­low­ing a re­cent sur­vey by the Vic­to­rian Govern­ment, it was re­ported that only about 16 per cent of the adult pop­u­la­tion of Vic­to­ria play the pok­ies at all.

Although the sur­vey fig­ures for in­di­vid­ual towns are not avail­able, if we pre­sume that 16 per cent of Sey­mour adults dab­ble with the pok­ies here, that $7 mil­lion loss is shared among only 786 peo­ple, a stag­ger­ing av­er­age loss of $8987 per pok­ies play­ing per­son.

Of course, visi­tors to Sey­mour also play our pok­ies, and Sey­mour res­i­dents play the pok­ies in other places. So, the av­er­age loss es­ti­mate may be a lit­tle larger or smaller than $8987, but it is nev­er­the­less very high.

So, where does all this money go?

There is a some­what com­plex Vic­to­rian Govern­ment tax regime ap­plied to pok­ies, and the tax ar­range­ments for ho­tels dif­fer from those for clubs.

How­ever, the Vic­to­rian Re­spon­si­ble Gam­bling Foun­da­tion, a statu­tory au­thor­ity, ad­vises that, on av­er­age across Vic­to­ria, about 35 per cent of pokie losses col­lected by the op­er­a­tors is paid to the govern­ment.

The re­main­der goes to the op­er­a­tors.

The Sey­mour Club and the Melbourne-based Black Rhino ho­tel chain that owns the Rail­way Ho­tel do very well from the mil­lions of dol­lars our lo­cal gam­blers lose. — John Thompson, Sey­mour

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