Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Socially disadvantaged electorates losing the most money to pokies

A report by Dr Charles Livingstone from the Monash Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine has resulted in a public protest on problem gambling at the Victorian State Parliament.

The report showed the losses suffered to pokie machines in Victoria by electorate, leading activists to display cardboard pokie machines with each figure on them to politicians. 

As Dr Livingstone told the Age, the latest findings are a reminder that pokies losses come from the pockets of ordinary people in the suburbs.

"Particularly MPs representing disadvantaged communities should pay particular attention, look at these figures, and ask if they are comfortable with what is being spent," he said.

"Every dollar spent on pokies is a dollar not spent on other economic activities and buying household essentials."
The report shows that the outer suburbs are hardest hit by problem gambling losses, with Cranbourne and Derrimut suffering more than $63 million a year.

Advocates are aiming for a $1 limit on pokie machines, instead of the scheme proposed by the Coalition in which users will be able to set a limit on how much they can spend in a night. 

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