According to the latest edition of the Social and Economic Impact Study for gaming, gambling in Tasmania continues to decline after the government introduced measures to reduce gambling harm in the state.
Australia.- The fifth edition of the Social and Economic Impact Study (SEIS) has revealed that gambling prevalence in Tasmania has declined from 72 per cent in 2008 to 47 per cent in 2020.
The report benefits from gambling of between AU$123.3m (US$92.06m) and AU$207.8m, and an estimated cost between AU$48.9m and AU$159.6m.
Authorities said that the percentage of people with gambling problems has declined from 0.6 per cent to 0.4 per cent when compared to the previous report.
Gamblers in Tasmania lose AU$733 a year per adult, while the rest of the country has an average rate of AU$1,277.
Although Tasmania has the lowest per capita expenditure on gambling of all Australian states, Meg Webb, Nelson independent MLC and anti-pokies campaigner, said it remains high.
She said: “The issue is even larger than these figures represent, which is confirmed by the elevated losses we continue to see, month after month.”
The report showed that lottery tickets are the most popular gambling product in Tasmania with 37 per cent of adults playing, while 17 per cent of people play keno, 11 per cent instant use scratchcards and only 9 per cent electronic gaming machines.
Member of parliament Andrew Wilkie said gambling participation and spending in the state still remains concerning and criticised the government for allowing the “pokies” to be placed “in the most disadvantaged parts of the state”.
Wilkie said 30 per cent of the poker machines in Tasmania are currently hosted in the state’s poorest region.
In April, according to the Tasmania Liquor and Gaming Commission, losses on poker machines reached almost AU$500m since March 2018, when the Liberal Government was re-elected.
Poker machine venues were closed from March 23 to June 26 last year due to Covid-19 restrictions but since reopening, the number of daily losses reached over AU$545,000 a day, which represents an increase of nearly AU$70,000 compared with the previous year.