Player losses at Ballarat’s 14 licensed venues were down from AU$5.94m in July.
Australia.- Authorities in the city of Ballarat, Victoria, have reported that player losses on slot machines reached AU$5.6m (US$3.6m) in August. That’s a drop from July 2022’s figure of AU$5.94m, which was close to being a record. Pokies losses were more than AU$51m in the 2021-22 financial year.
The figures have been flagged up by the Alliance for Gambling Reform. Its chief executive Carol Bennett told the Courier: “I am very conscious that Ballarat is one of the highest areas of loss in Victoria. It exacts a huge social and economic harm to families and the community.”
Bennett said the Alliance for Gambling Reform had noticed an increase in the exposure of children to gambling products and called the government to work to prevent children from being exposed to gambling ads.
The news comes as the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs launches an inquiry into online gambling and its impact on people with gambling problems.
Peta Murphy MP, chair of the committee, said: “the inquiry will be a fresh look at online gambling and whether current laws, regulations, consumer protections and education and support programs are enough to reduce harm to gamblers.
“The Committee is concerned about the increasing reach of online gambling platforms into Australians’ lives, the exposure of children and young people to gambling advertising and how this may contribute to increases in problem gambling in the future.”