According to a recent statistics published by the government of Australia, it becomes clear that the gambling issue in the country continues to ravage the nation and leave financial damages in its wake. There has been a 4.2 percent jump in the losses rates, with more than half of that amount being spent on poker machines. The said devices are usually located in pubs and clubs across Australia and the overall amount of money lost by players while gambling equals almost A$24 billion over the span of twelve months.
As it is stated in the statistical report, this marks a doubling in the rate of inflation, since it could be recalled that the pokies losses managed to reach A$12 billion back in 2015-2016. In the last twelve months the poker machines have enjoyed a lot of attention by regular players and this resulted in the largest share of losses amounting to A$23.6 billion. This means that almost all of the people who participate in gambling activities in Australia opt for pokies and the rewards they are able to give them. Casinos, in general, have generated A$5.2 billion from losses, followed closely by racing tracks which are also very popular in the country. The losses at these facilities amount to A$2.9 billion.
The national lottery has made the smallest dent in the wallets of players from down under since for the last twelve months they lost only A$1.9 billion while participating in it. In the meantime, sports betting is still the form of gambling which enjoys the most rapid rate of development and it should be noted that the surge it is experiencing marked a 13-percent jump compared to the previous year. The reason behind this is the fact that people have become more interested in the gambling activity with the introduction of many internet and app-based platforms for wagering.
Activists Prompt the Government for Action
Even though more and more people are placing bets on the outcome of a certain game, still the share of sports betting in the overall gambling losses of Australia is one of the smallest. For the last twelve months players spent a mere A$920 million on sports betting. It is a common practice, that these numbers are publicly announced as a way to warn people for the real effects of gambling and the negative impact it has on individuals who participate in it. Alliance for Gambling Reform is an anti-pokies lobby group, which stated that the recent information should give the authorities an in-depth perspective of the current gambling environment in the country. These figures should prompt an immediate reaction in the gambling authorities, as the gambling expenditures should be brought below A$20 billion.
Tim Costello is the spokesperson for the Alliance and he stated that the recent statistics once again prove that poker machines are the main reason for the surging losses rates. This inevitably sends the nation to the top place among the world’s biggest gambling enthusiasts. The government is obliged to protect its voters from the harmful consequences of the gambling industry and strive to keep the annual losses below the A$20 billion mark.