Australia NSW pokie profits now as big as the GDP of a south Pacific nation

04:55  26 october  2019
04:55  26 october  2019 Source:   smh.com.au

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a screen shot of a video game: Poker machine profits in NSW pubs and clubs have soared to $6.5 billion over the past year.© Virginia Star Poker machine profits in NSW pubs and clubs have soared to $6.5 billion over the past year.

Poker machine profits in NSW pubs and clubs have soared to $6.5 billion over the past year, and rival the GDP of countries such as Fiji, with bigger gains coming despite a fall in the number machines and venues.

The surge in profit is largely attributable to a boom in pubs. Greater Sydney hotels raked in $1 billion of pokie profit in the six months to June, while clubs maintained a near $2 billion profit, according to the latest data released by Liquor & Gaming.

The windfall comes despite NSW government policies removing 506 machines from the clubs' gambling floors and 42 from hotels in the past 12 months. The number of club gaming venues fell by 16, and the number of hotel gaming venues fell by 74.

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South America. The hotel ranked as the third- biggest earner of pokie profit during the first half of 2017 was the Markets Hotel at Flemington, owned by Garry Macdougall. NSW Greens MLC Justin Field said behind the profits there was "immeasurable harm caused to people, families and

This is a list of gross domestic product ( GDP ) at purchasing power parity (PPP) for the latest years recorded in the CIA World Factbook.

More than 1350 machines or 1.5 per cent of the state's total have been removed since June 2017, but profits from the remaining 91,000 machines have increased by 5.5 per cent.

The most profitable clubs are Mounties in Mt Pritchard, Bankstown Sports Club and Dooleys in Lidcombe. The top pubs are Markets Hotel in Flemington, Cross Roads Hotel in Casula and El Cortez Hotel in Canley Heights.

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Pubs across Strathfield, Canterbury and Sydney City council areas made about $6 million more profit in each area than they did last year. Citywide pubs pocketed gains of five per cent.

Independent NSW MP Justin Field said the push for more profits from pokies is driving an unhealthy shift in the hotel industry.

"The big players are gobbling up family-run pubs and historic live music venues around the state and turning them into effective mini-casinos," he said.

"The pub barons like Merivale, Solotel and Laundy are using favourable tax benefits for multiple hotel owners to take over more and more pubs ... and further grow gambling profits.

"This increase in gambling losses contrasts with flatlining wages and a generally sluggish economy and suggests the pokies profits for clubs and pubs is coming at the expense of many who can't afford it and increasing gambling harm in the community."

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South America. The push comes as new data reveals .4 billion was lost by pokie players in NSW registered clubs The data was purchased from Liquor and Gaming NSW by Greens MLC Justin Field, who has committed to publishing monthly data for clubs and pubs as part of a "People before Pokies "

Woolworths is already the nation 's biggest pokies operator with annual losses on its 12,000 machines approaching billion of the world-record The report charts the net profits of poker machines across Australia in pubs and clubs, revealing staggering profits per machine in NSW pubs equating

Pubs net profit from pokies are up by $154 million since 2017 when there were 308 more machines and 107 more pubs.

The increase in profit in the same period for clubs was $11 million despite fewer clubs.

The government’s cap on gaming machine entitlements means overall machine numbers can only go down, a ClubsNSW spokesman said.

"After years of campaigning by ClubsNSW, legislation will be introduced to the NSW Parliament in the near future, allowing family members to apply to have a loved one banned from a venue if they believe they have a problem with gambling," the spokesman said.

NSW club membership numbers are about 6.7 million and growing.

Alliance for Gambling Reform spokeswoman Dr Kate da Costa said pokie pubs are "getting more aggressive" while a "myth of responsible gambling" allows people to be induced to play.

"This is a massive public health problem and a massive economic problem in NSW," Dr Da Costa said. "Successive governments have been captured by the gambling industry, and are still insisting on the myth of responsible gambling.

"The ban on inducements to gamble online should be applied to the aggressive poker machine industry in NSW. Nobody should be lured into gambling."

NSW Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the government is investing $35 million this year to prevent and reduce gambling harm, including counselling for over 7300 people.

"We are also taking the lead in cracking down on unlawful online gambling advertising with tough new laws passed by NSW Parliament this week," he said.

Last year gaming machine numbers were capped in higher-risk communities, he added.

Clubs NSW donated more than $20,000 in total to the NSW Coalition and Labor Party in the 2018-19 year.

The United Nations estimated the GDP of Fiji in 2017 to be US$4.5 billion which is about $6.6 billion.

The NSW Australian Hotels Association did not respond to requests for comment.

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