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$2.6 Billion Lost on Australian Slot Machines -- In One Year, In One State

4 September 2001

MELBOURNE, Australia –- Sept. 4, 2001 -- As reported by the Herald Sun: "Victorian gamblers lost more than $2.36 billion on pokie machines in the past financial year.

"The statistics - up 9 per cent on the previous year - add up to almost $6.5 million a day or $75 a second.

"Victorians have now squandered more than $15 billion gambling on pokies since their introduction by the Kirner government in 1992.

"The biggest losers shown in figures released by the Bracks Government yesterday were punters in the City of Monash, who lost about $123 million on local pokies.

"…`This Government is committed to gaming reform which encourages people to gamble responsibly and to address problem gambling,' [Gaming Minister John] Pandazopoulos said.

"Yesterday's announcement follows a recent Herald Sun campaign calling for tougher measures to curb the spiralling statewide pokie addiction including:

"Restricting note-fed machines to accepting a maximum of $10 or returning to coin-fed machines.

"…Enforcing cooling off periods for players by shutting each machine down every 15 or 30 minutes.

"…Reducing the maximum bet of each spin.

",,,Victoria remains Australia's biggest gambling state with an estimated 156,000 pokie players with a gambling problem…"

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