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Aussie Pokies in Gambling Slowdown

25 November 2002

AUSTRALIA -- As reported by the Australian Advertiser: ``Gambling losses across Australia are slowing as pokermachine numbers hit saturation point, the Productivity Commission says.

``Australian punters are losing $14 billion a year with most spent on pokies, it says.

``This compares with losses of about $12 billion three years ago.

``More than 196,600 pokies are in pubs, clubs and casinos across Australia compared with 184,500 three years ago when the commission warned of the social costs of the gambling boom in a landmark report.

``Poker-machine numbers in South Australia increased from 12,900 to more than 14,800.

``Commission chairman Gary Banks said while the losses had continued to rise, the pace had slowed.

``…`Expenditure has risen by 15 per cent (since the report was released) compared with a rise of 30 per cent over the preceding three years.'

``He attributed the slowdown to a saturation of gaming machines in Australia…"

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