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The billion dollar pokie turnover

By johnboy - 21 November 2011 38

poker machines

The Greens’ Shane Rattenbury is drawing attention to just how much money goes through the pokies.

An Assembly Committee has heard that $178.9 million was lost on ACT pokies in the past financial year with more than a billion dollars cycling through the machines.

Media reports last week put the figure at $100 million, but following questioning from ACT Greens MLA, Shane Rattenbury, the ACT Gambling and Racing Commissioner confirmed that the actual figure was 80% higher.

“This is huge amount of money to lose through gaming machines in a twelve month period and should cause us all to stop and reflect,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“This means that around five hundred dollars was lost for every man, woman and child living in the ACT.

“We also know that much of those losses are attributable to problem gamblers, whose lives and families are being destroyed by their addiction.

Bear that in mind the next time Clubs ACT run a TV ad on how much they give to their chosen friends in the community.

[Photo by Dennis CC BY]

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38 Responses to
The billion dollar pokie turnover
chewy14 10:09 pm 21 Nov 11

I-filed said :

Pokies cost us all, not just the addicts. Think how many separated families are occupying two government houses at the ratepayer’s expense. How many people who have gambled away their earnings are turning up for charity handouts subsidised by our federal and local taxes. I’m sure there are many more costs. I for one am sick of subsidising the clubs and think pokies should be limited as far as Andrew Wilkie and Nick Xenophon want to take it.

I think Pokie operators pay more in excess taxes than the social cost of pokies so I don’t think you’re subsidising anything. Happy to be corrected though.

gooterz 8:29 pm 21 Nov 11

I’m not opposed to gambling.. it does alot for minority community groups. I’d suggest they start using monopoly money!

cranky 8:19 pm 21 Nov 11

On a slight tangent, a recent item in the SMH (I think) detailed how a former pokie addict had identified the ubiquitous ‘feature’ on the pokies as the primary bait to lure players.

As a previously serious player, the dearth of ‘features’ on machines at the local (Mawson), was instrumental in my walking away, to the point where I would not play more than once a year, if that.

Perhaps another way of decreasing the attractiveness of these atrocious money bleeders?

I-filed 7:56 pm 21 Nov 11

Pokies cost us all, not just the addicts. Think how many separated families are occupying two government houses at the ratepayer’s expense. How many people who have gambled away their earnings are turning up for charity handouts subsidised by our federal and local taxes. I’m sure there are many more costs. I for one am sick of subsidising the clubs and think pokies should be limited as far as Andrew Wilkie and Nick Xenophon want to take it.

Thumper 7:19 pm 21 Nov 11

I’m not for banning things but really, isn’t it time that pokies were seriously cut back? I don’t care if people are dumb enough to keep shoving money into them but it is seriously anti sov=cial and turns people into mindless zombies. Recently we saw Andrew Leigh talking about street parties, may he he could do something about pokies if he really cared.

How about the ACT government bring in legislation that limits establishments to a third of the pokies they have now? In fact, what about a quarter?

How about it Katie? What about you Zed? Want to show some balls?

Didn’t think so…

shadow boxer 6:10 pm 21 Nov 11

johnboy said :

shadow boxer said :

djk said :

If pokies pay back approx 90% of the money put in to them, and the loss was $180m, wouldnt that be $1.8b going through the machines? That is a fair bit more than a billion.

Or the clubs are voluntarily paying about twice what they have to.

The correct answer to how much goes back to the community is “all of it”, no-one pockets any profits.

Who needs profits when you have six figure salaries and company cars all round?

If you are referring to Directors that is simply not true and the rules on remunerating Directors are closely monitered and were recently tightened by gaming and racing. Directors are overwhelmingly volunteers.

Most clubs will have a CEO employed to run the business but who doesn’t ?

I can tell you that the extra $100m will be the first thing to go when pre-commitment comes in and the clubs tighten their belts. If you are associated with a community or sporting group that gets club funding you should be worried.

I know Woolworths who has quietly bought up 80% of all non-club pokies in NSW certainly doesn’t look like filling the gap.

johnboy 5:59 pm 21 Nov 11

shadow boxer said :

djk said :

If pokies pay back approx 90% of the money put in to them, and the loss was $180m, wouldnt that be $1.8b going through the machines? That is a fair bit more than a billion.

Or the clubs are voluntarily paying about twice what they have to.

The correct answer to how much goes back to the community is “all of it”, no-one pockets any profits.

Who needs profits when you have six figure salaries and company cars all round?

shadow boxer 5:57 pm 21 Nov 11

djk said :

If pokies pay back approx 90% of the money put in to them, and the loss was $180m, wouldnt that be $1.8b going through the machines? That is a fair bit more than a billion.

Or the clubs are voluntarily paying about twice what they have to.

The correct answer to how much goes back to the community is “all of it”, no-one pockets any profits.

chewy14 5:32 pm 21 Nov 11

Gungahlin Al said :

I tweeted Shane asking how much of this $180million goes back to community groups in grants, etc, as the clubs always tell us happens?

$11.743 million! So less than 10%.

But still more than they’re required to by law.
Perhaps we should be looking at raising the % that clubs are forced to give back to the community and for problem gambling treatment?

Gungahlin Al 5:21 pm 21 Nov 11

I tweeted Shane asking how much of this $180million goes back to community groups in grants, etc, as the clubs always tell us happens?

$11.743 million! So less than 10%.

Holden Caulfield 5:07 pm 21 Nov 11

davo101 said :

Reminds me of this.

Or these related pitches from Gruen Transfer.

djk 5:07 pm 21 Nov 11

If pokies pay back approx 90% of the money put in to them, and the loss was $180m, wouldnt that be $1.8b going through the machines? That is a fair bit more than a billion.

poetix 4:27 pm 21 Nov 11

Many people playing the pokies don’t actually seem to enjoy it that much. When I was playing down at the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club (total bet, $10) along with my husband, and we were laughing at the stupid little messages popping up like ‘That’s the way to go!’ we got amazed looks from the more regular punters who seem to spend every hour camped in front of the machines. There was a lady in a very old poncho with a pack of Holiday cigarettes approximately the size of a Stephen King novel who seemed to regard actual laughter in front of her flashing God as almost sacrilegious. It’s a real disease for some people, and it’s horrible that the clubs boast about their charitable endeavours after making money from addicts.

I suppose it’s a bit like an addiction to commenting on The Riot Act, but at least you won’t lose your house over that. Or so they tell me.

Classified 4:19 pm 21 Nov 11

Wow. About once a year when in a club I’ll get the urge to try my luck, which usually ends with me losing about 5 bucks and remembering why I don’t gamble.

I can’t imagine how people could put so much cash in, thinking they will actually win in the longer term.

davo101 4:12 pm 21 Nov 11

Reminds me of this.

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