Australia: Hume to divest pokies after surge in player losses
Player losses were up 45 per cent when compared to the previous year.
Australia.- Hume Council in Victoria is to advance with plans to divest electronic gaming machines (EGM) on council-owned or managed land over the next few years after an increase in player losses last year. Gamblers in Hume lost AU$104.55m (US$70.23m), up 45 per cent when compared to the previous financial year.
The increased loss prompted a council meeting on February 27. Council member Sam Misho expressed concern about the figures and said Hume saw the fifth-highest losses out of the 70 local government areas in Victoria. Hume has five of the most disadvantaged suburbs in Victoria, which he said suggests a correlation between the concentration of EGMs and economic disadvantage.
Misho said divesting EGMS was “probably the most significant method” to tackle th issue because the council doesn’t “have the financial power and the commitment when it comes to advertising.”
Council member Jarrod Bell echoed Misho’s concern. The council is urging the state government to introduce cashless gaming cards as another way to curb gambling losses.