News

Bumper month for Bundaberg pokie machines

GAMBLING: Pokies. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
GAMBLING: Pokies. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

BUNDABERG punters put a staggering $4,015,053.63 in March through poker machines across the region - or $98.02 per household.

The figures represent an increase of $376,574.90 compared with the previous month.

The region is home to 1266 poker machines at 39 venues.

The figure formed part of the $176,934,950.60 Queenslanders gambled in March playing the pokies at pubs and clubs across the state - an increase of $16,355,025.30 on the previous month.

But it comes on top of the $117,718,649.25 Queenslanders spent in February on other forms of gambling including keno, horse, dog and harness racing, lottery and trips to the state's four casinos.

The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation distributes revenue from gaming taxes to various not-for-profit community groups throughout the state via its Gambling Community Benefit Fund.

Grants of up to $35,000 are available and are distributed quarterly.

Gambling Help Network Queensland deputy chairman Derek Tuffield said he was not surprised to see pokie losses continue to rise.

"As financial stresses increase, people tend to turn to gambling in the hope for a quick fix," he said.

"Financial pressure is alive and well for many people in the community.

"Younger people are certainly gambling more online these days, but I would suspect those numbers are not contained in these figures."

Queensland Hotels Association chief executive Justin O'Connor said poker machines were a legal form of entertainment.

He said there were many policies and procedures in place to ensure problem gamblers were identified and were able to seek help should they require it.

"Queensland has a very broad and deep gaming policy," he said.

"It is not a QHA policy, it is a government policy.

"Gaming is a legal entertainment activity in this state and one of many entertainment options available at licensed venues."

Queensland Council of Social Service figures reveal almost 8% of Queenslanders are at risk of developing gambling-related problems and a further 14,000 are already problem gamblers.

Last month's GAMBLING would buy...

1,606,021 loaves of bread.

1,342,827 2L bottles of full cream milk

573,579 kg of lady finger bananas

671,413 kg of granny smith apples

1,723,198 packets of Tim-Tams

401,505 boxes of 11-pack nappies

MONEY SPENT On Pokies this year

January: $4,111,199.79

February: $3,638,478.73

March: $4,015,053.63

Topics:  losing money pokie machines waste



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