Pokie gambling in New South Wales surges despite fewer machines

A record A$73 billion ($52.6 billion) was generated from New South Wales pokies last financial year – a surge of more than A$4 billion that has sparked questions about government efforts to cut the number of machines to reduce gambling-related harm, the Sydney Morning Herald Reports.

A Fairfax Media analysis of new figures published by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority reveal NSW poker machine turnover – as distinct from profit or losses – was A$73.3 billion in 2014-15, up from A$68.9 billion the previous year.

The increase of A$4.3 billion – or 6 percent – was despite the number of gaming machines operating in NSW pubs and clubs falling by 244 to 93,364 in the same period.

In the local government area with the highest turnover, Fairfield, pokie gamblers pushed A$7.6 billion through 3300 machines during 2014-15.

Pokie gambling in the Fairfield area increased by A$629 million compared with the previous financial year. The surge in turnover occurred despite there being 410 fewer gaming machines in the area at June 30.

There were 2917 gaming machines in registered clubs within the Fairfield local government area and 477 in pubs, meaning on average A$2.2 million was gambled on each machine in the past financial year.