Where did the money go? A breakdown of Victoria’s 2014/15 poker machines losses

Victorian gamblers spent $2.571 billion on poker machines in the 2014/15 financial year. That’s up by over $67 million on the previous year and shows that the gambling industry is going from strength to strength.

But where did the money come from? Who’s spending more, and who’s kicking the habit?

Brimbank has once again earned the dubious distinction of being Victoria’s highest spending municipality on poker machines. Losses of more than $141 million for the year put Brimbank well ahead of Casey ($119 million), Dandenong ($117 million), Monash ($114 million) and Geelong ($113 million).

At the other end of the scale, gamblers in the Surf Coast Shire lost $2.8 million for the financial year, making them the state’s most frugal municipality, ahead of Alpine Shire ($3.1 million), Swan Hill ($6.5 million), South Gippsland ($6.6 million) and Wodonga ($7.4 million).

NOTE: municipalities without poker machines are not included in this list, which certainly makes them the luckiest areas in the state.

A sure sign of risky gambling behaviour is a steady increase in spending. Victoria’s losses went up by over $67 million, or 2.70% for the year.

Locally, Dandenong saw the biggest dollar increase in poker machine losses. Gamblers in Dandenong lost $6.9 million more this financial year than last, followed by Casey ($6.1 million), Whittlesea ($5.6 million), Monash ($5.1 million) and Melbourne ($3.1 million).

But as a percentage increase, it was impossible to go past the City of Port Phillip, which saw losses jump this financial year by 10.3%. They were followed by the Shires of Cardinia (9.6%) and Campaspe (8.7%), the Rural City of Wodonga (8.3%) and the Yarra Ranges Shire (8.1%).

So that’s who lost the money. But where did it go?

In Victoria, it’s the hotel industry that dominates the poker machine landscape. Victorian pubs took in $1.7 billion in poker machine revenue, or 66% of the total loss for the state. In contrast, Victorian clubs made $868 million out of poker machines, or 34% of the total figure.

On average, every poker machine in Victoria makes $98 thousand each year. In hotels, that goes up to $125 thousand per year, while in clubs it drops to $68 thousand per year.

The two biggest earning clubs in the state, Highways Sandown ($15.8 million) and Greyhounds Entertainment ($13.8 million) are both in Dandenong. They are followed by Yarraville Cricket Club (Maribyrnong, $13.6 million), Mulgrave Country Club (Monash, $12.7 million) and Caulfield Glasshouse (Glen Eira, $11.3 million).

But it’s the hotels that really make the money. The Epping Plaza Hotel in Whittlesea tops the list again with a yearly spend of $21.1 million, followed by Keysborough Hotel (Dandenong, $19.7 million), Gladstone Park Hotel (Hume, $18.7 million), Skyways Taverner (Moonee Valley, $18.6 million) and the Plough Hotel (Whittlesea, $18.3 million).

Across the board, four of the top ten poker machine venues in Victoria are in Whittlesea, and two in Dandenong.

Finally, we can’t forget Spring Street. The Victorian State Government taxes poker machine earnings for clubs and hotels alike, although the clubs industry does enjoy a lower tax rate and a range of tax breaks. But with the increase in poker machine losses in 2014/15, the state government will again reap taxes from the industry in excess of $1 billion.

For a complete list of Victorian local government areas with poker machines and their respective losses over the past two financial years, see below.

All figures come from the Victorian Commission of Gambling and Liquor Regulation.

 

2014/15 2013/14
LGA Name Player Loss Player Loss   Change % Change $
City of Brimbank $141,609,226.77 $138,542,665.59 2.21% $3,066,561.18
City of Casey $119,384,478.72 $113,243,208.10 5.42% $6,141,270.62
City of Greater Dandenong $117,004,770.07 $110,134,642.61 6.24% $6,870,127.46
City of Monash $114,356,289.27 $109,202,526.58 4.72% $5,153,762.69
CITY OF GREATER GEELONG $113,020,950.21 $111,628,148.00 1.25% $1,392,802.21
CITY OF WHITTLESEA $109,161,212.02 $103,500,568.12 5.47% $5,660,643.90
City of Hume $104,943,985.95 $101,822,277.68 3.07% $3,121,708.27
City of Wyndham $93,116,687.86 $90,342,545.32 3.07% $2,774,142.54
City of Darebin $83,857,397.07 $82,359,807.15 1.82% $1,497,589.92
City of Kingston $81,509,892.75 $79,825,384.39 2.11% $1,684,508.36
Shire of Mornington Peninsula $79,400,240.34 $79,046,839.17 0.45% $353,401.17
City of Melbourne $75,868,075.11 $72,707,033.11 4.35% $3,161,042.00
City of Moonee Valley $74,747,047.29 $72,123,897.08 3.64% $2,623,150.21
City of Glen Eira $73,555,920.90 $72,059,137.19 2.08% $1,496,783.71
City of Knox $73,362,492.12 $74,200,233.90 -1.13% -$837,741.78
City of Moreland $63,521,371.65 $63,642,789.10 -0.19% -$121,417.45
City of Frankston $62,065,687.29 $60,249,332.64 3.01% $1,816,354.65
City of Maroondah $61,694,366.50 $62,294,867.29 -0.96% -$600,500.79
Shire of Melton $57,349,284.44 $54,211,051.13 5.79% $3,138,233.31
City of Manningham $56,406,754.76 $55,677,479.58 1.31% $729,275.18
City of Banyule $54,512,648.72 $55,019,402.31 -0.92% -$506,753.59
City of Ballarat $53,623,993.63 $53,642,391.94 -0.03% -$18,398.31
City of Maribyrnong $52,994,016.09 $52,905,865.71 0.17% $88,150.38
City of Whitehorse $51,581,759.50 $51,944,253.64 -0.70% -$362,494.14
City of Greater Bendigo $47,678,424.57 $46,243,389.76 3.10% $1,435,034.81
City of Hobsons Bay $46,430,981.96 $47,196,551.19 -1.62% -$765,569.23
City of Latrobe $43,613,709.09 $44,333,812.33 -1.62% -$720,103.24
City of Greater Shepparton $31,380,787.26 $29,376,039.78 6.82% $2,004,747.48
City of Yarra $31,084,714.55 $30,077,711.86 3.35% $1,007,002.69
City of Port Phillip $28,842,530.39 $26,153,986.77 10.28% $2,688,543.62
Shire of Yarra Ranges $28,786,766.80 $26,635,127.98 8.08% $2,151,638.82
Rural City of Mildura $25,640,869.01 $24,700,237.30 3.81% $940,631.71
Shire of Cardinia $23,259,238.90 $21,217,863.10 9.62% $2,041,375.80
City of Stonnington $23,019,972.59 $21,575,746.54 6.69% $1,444,226.05
Shire of East Gippsland $22,343,699.93 $22,323,581.83 0.09% $20,118.10
Shire of Wellington $21,450,507.97 $21,566,360.32 -0.54% -$115,852.35
City of Boroondara $20,957,038.26 $19,414,918.54 7.94% $1,542,119.72
SHIRE OF MITCHELL $18,874,667.76 $17,680,395.37 6.75% $1,194,272.39
City of Warrnambool $18,222,763.26 $17,318,805.25 5.22% $903,958.01
Shire of Bass Coast $15,851,964.94 $15,087,373.60 5.07% $764,591.34
City of Bayside $15,813,241.53 $15,788,451.25 0.16% $24,790.28
Shire of Baw Baw $13,295,313.54 $12,641,199.17 5.17% $654,114.37
SHIRE OF GLENELG $13,184,327.24 $12,746,480.80 3.44% $437,846.44
SHIRE OF MOORABOOL $10,575,644.50 $10,309,883.23 2.58% $265,761.27
SHIRE OF COLAC-OTWAY $10,263,298.65 $10,074,894.08 1.87% $188,404.57
SHIRE OF CENTRAL GOLDFIELDS $10,099,589.97 $10,384,719.19 -2.75% -$285,129.22
RURAL CITY OF BENALLA $10,059,504.85 $10,150,100.66 -0.89% -$90,595.81
SHIRE OF NORTHERN GRAMPIANS $10,037,879.85 $10,350,645.47 -3.02% -$312,765.62
SHIRE OF CAMPASPE $9,658,435.67 $8,884,033.85 8.72% $774,401.82
Rural City of Horsham $9,531,130.75 $9,498,045.33 0.35% $33,085.42
Shire of Macedon Ranges $8,656,079.05 $8,360,298.91 3.54% $295,780.14
Rural City of Wangaratta $8,128,251.05 $7,856,837.79 3.45% $271,413.26
Rural City of Wodonga $7,472,194.92 $6,900,172.96 8.29% $572,021.96
Shire of South Gippsland $6,592,483.67 $6,514,572.41 1.20% $77,911.26
Rural City of Swan Hill $6,532,534.53 $6,678,962.65 -2.19% -$146,428.12
SHIRE OF ALPINE $3,120,455.72 $3,119,936.04 0.02% $519.68
Shire of Surf Coast $2,818,479.72 $2,855,819.51 -1.31% -$37,339.79

 

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