Words by Lisa Jones
Pokie Machine revenue in NSW is skyrocketing despite the state cutting down on active machines.
At the end of the last financial year, a staggering $73 billion was pumped through the NSW pokies machines, an increase of $4 billion, despite fewer Pokie machines across the state.
Under NSW law, one out of every three machines traded must be forfeited to the government in an effort to reduce the number of gaming machines and gambling related harm. But according to research by Dr Charles Livingstone at Monash University this scheme is completely ineffective.
“Machine reductions are a good idea if you undertake them seriously and over a long period of time,” he said. “But there’s so much capacity in the system you’d have to make substantial cuts to reduce the revenue.”
Due to the huge amount of machine across the state and the insane revenue each machine brings in, Dr. Livingstone says the state would need to cut down 70,000 machines or less for for the plan to become effective.
A spokesman for Deputy Premier and Gaming Minister Troy Grant defended the poker machine reduction scheme, saying “the NSW government’s strategy to reduce the number of poker machines has resulted in hundreds dropping out of circulation each year.”
He stated that the Government’s gambling support programs offer “significant counselling and other support services through the Responsible Gambling Fund”.