Mid-Western 'wins' pokies war in central west?

The Mid-Western Regional Council area is among the lowest spending areas in regional NSW when it comes to poker machines, according to the Department of Justice figures. 

The annual turnover for gaming machines in clubs and hotels in the region was $138 million in 2015-2016, the latest official figures revealed.

Which breaks down to $37,801 per day being gambled into poker machines every day across the region. 

Only Bogan Shire Council ($34,506) and Brewarrina Shire Council ($32,281) were lower, both of which contain significantly smaller populations of 3076 and 2193 respectively.

So the region is at the bottom of the amount gambled per head of population per day at $1.56.

The Mid-West was towards the lower end of 16 local government areas in regional NSW.

The turnover figure includes amounts won on the pokies and then re-invested into the machines.

The local area was well and truly shaded by Dubbo which topped the list of regional NSW centres with almost $1 million being fed into poker machines every day and an annual turnover of $339.3 million.

Data released by the NSW Greens reveals the quarterly gaming machine turnover, net profit, tax, and number of machines in hotels and clubs per LGA.

The MWRC area had a quarterly turnover (the cumulative total amount of all money bet on gaming machines) of $11.3 million in hotels and $20 million in clubs.

Of which, local hotels paid $112,409.80 in taxes and clubs paid $186,227.62.

Leaving a quarterly (ending March 2017) net profit for hotels of $975,399.77 and quarterly (ending February 2017) net profit for clubs of $1.7 million.

The data lists 152 gaming machines in 21 hotels and 229 in 12 clubs in the Mid-Western Region which had a profit or tax assessed during the stated period.

Lifeline Central West executive director Alex Ferguson said a new problem was the rise in online gambling.

“Of far greater concern in this day and age is the gambling online, sports betting in particular,” he said.

“It has proliferated over the past five to seven years.”

  • Gambling Helpline 1800 858 858


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