The States that suffered the biggest spikes in losses were South Australia (up 34.6%), Queensland (up 33.6%) and New South Wales (up 23.7%). Victoria suffered an increase in losses of 12%.
The figures were collated for the Alliance by the Gambling and Social Determinants Unit, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University show that the $14.5b in losses was 13.7% higher than 2018-19 the last full financial year not be impacted by COVID restrictions.
“Australians already lose more to poker machines per capita than any other country in the world, these staggering new loss figures show an industry that is out of control. And these figures don’t even count poker machine losses in our casinos,” the CEO of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Carol Bennett, said.
“These losses cause enormous damage in our communities way beyond financial loss, they include family violence and breakdown and mental and physical health issues. Recent research shows gambling could be responsible for up to 20% of suicides in Australia.”
Ms Bennett said it was time for the States to fast-track the introduction of mandatory precommitment, cashless gambling cards – which the NSW Crime Commission declared would reduce gambling harm and curb money laundering.
The losses for FY 22-23 for each State include:
· NSW: $8,079,083,625 in losses – up 23.7% on 2018-19
· Victoria: $3,021,644,869 in losses – up 12%
· SA: $917,530,000 – up 34.6%
· Tas $189,600,000 – up 10.5%
Figures were not available for ACT and NT and WA does not have poker machines in pubs and clubs.
The Alliance is a national advocacy organisation which works to prevent and minimise the harm from gambling. Our aim is to remove the shame that surrounds gambling addiction, have the problem treated as a public health issue, and achieve the legislative changes needed to protect our communities. We bring together well over 60 organisations who share the objectives of preventing harm from gambling.
See here for a gambling language guide for journalists.
Carol Bennett is available for interview.
Full figures are available here:
Martin Thomas: 0477 340 704