COLAC’S love affair with poker machines is showing no signs of easing.
The Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation’s figures for the past four months show Colac pokie players are gambling more than half-a-million dollars a month.
The statistics, released since the start of the financial year, show Colac gamblers have spent $2,671,916 on the city’s 110 pokies since the start of July, compared with $2,630,225 at the same time last year.
Gamblers spent $682,251 in July, $700,317 in August, $656,932 in September and $632,415 in October.
Member for Corangamite Darren Cheeseman said the losses meant “devastation for some families” and was a negative for Colac district small businesses.
“Firstly, about 40 per cent of these losses are coming from problem gamblers, and for a number of families this will mean there will be kids missing out on meals because the money has gone,” Mr Cheeseman said.
“Secondly, normally this money would be spent with local retailers, creating jobs and helping sustain small business,” he said.
“In short, the addiction to gambling has a double-whammy affect, hurting families and local small business.”
Colac gamblers plunged almost $7.5 million into the city’s pokies during the 2010-2011 financial year.
Colac’s Union Club Hotel proved the most popular pokie venue with almost $3 million in spending, while gamblers sank almost $2 million into machines at Colac’s Austral Hotel.
Losses at Colac clubs were less prolific between July 2010 and July 2011, with more than $900,000 in spending at the City Bowls Club and Colac Bowling Club, while people gambled more than $800,000 at Colac RSL.
Tags: Poker machines