Victoria’s pokies pain: biggest increase in losses in 6 years

Victoria’s addiction to poker machines continues. The state with the third-highest number of pokies in the country has just seen yearly losses jump by the highest amount in six years.

Figures released today by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) show that for the financial year ending June 30 2015, Victoria lost $2.571 billion on poker machines.

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That’s an increase of $67.5 million, or 2.70%, on the previous financial year, and the single biggest increase in losses since 2008-2009.

The news comes at a time when the Victorian state government is forging ahead with its plans for a voluntary pre-commitment scheme, which experts and former gamblers say will do little to stop the community harm being caused by poker machine addiction.

Simpler and potentially more effective reforms, including $1 maximum bets and shorter opening hours, have been ruled out by the government.

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