Punters have spent a record amount on pokies in Brimbank, Victoria, since venues reopened after Covid-19 restrictions.
Australia.- The city of Brimbank, in western Melbourne, Victoria, has recorded record player losses on pokies since operations resumed following Covid-19 restrictions.
December set a new record for monthly player losses at AU$14.7m, followed by AU$13.8m in January, March saw losses of AU$14.6m.
Meanwhile, February saw a new new record for daily losses at AU$482,168.
According to ABC newspaper, Ranka Rasic, Brimbank’s mayor, said that total losses for the past decade stood at AU$1.4bn.
The Alliance for Gambling Reform has urged the state government to reduce pokie operating hours noting that Victorian machine venues had the longest opening hours in Australia at 20 hours a day.
In March, the Victorian government announced it would invest AU$600,000 (US$460,000) through the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation to examine the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on gambling.
The state of Victoria reported that losses to online bookmakers rose to over AU$1.4bn (US$1.07bn) in the second half of 2020.