Millions lost to pokies

A TOTAL $21.26 million was lost in Wellington Shire gaming venues last financial year, down slightly from $21.8 million in 2016-17.

The money was lost at seven gaming venues in Wellington Shire, which collectively have 318 machines, most of them in Sale.

The most money was lost at Sporting Legends in Sale, a total $5,803,665 from 74 machines.

This compares with the previous year’s loss at the venue of $6 million from the same number of machines.

Sale and District Greyhound Racing Club was close behind with a loss of $5,580,526 from 80 machines (compared with $5.77 million from 80 machines the previous financial year).

Maffra Community Sports Club gaming patrons lost $2,857,991 from 35 machines (previous year $2.9 million from 35); the Yarram Country Club $2,591,670 from 37 machines (previous year $2.51 million from 37); the Star Hotel, Sale, $2,160,901 from 23 machines (previous year $2.28 million from 23); Sale RSL and Community Sub-Branch $1,495,122 from 36 machines (previous year $1.43 million from 36) and the Lakeside Club, Sale, $770,764 from 33 machines (previous year $839,485 from 33).

Across Gippsland, more than $130 million disappeared into gaming machines, with Latrobe City the biggest loser at $44.6 million, lost at 13 venues from 521 machines.

East Gippsland gaming patrons lost $24.3 million at 10 venues with a total of 332 machines; $17.6 million was lost in Bass Coast from five venues (195 machines in July 2017, which rose to 213 by the end of financial year); $16.4 million was lost in Baw Baw from four venues (194 machines in July 2017, but rose to 238); and $6.3 million was lost in South Gippsland from four venues (105 machines).

Each July, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation publishes what it calls the annual “gaming expenditure” data for the previous financial year.

The data outlines total gaming expenditure and gaming venue information, including venue classification and electronic gaming machine numbers for Victoria.

The total gaming losses for Victoria 2017-18 was a staggering $2,695,284,025, an increase of 3.29 per cent on the 2016-17 figure.