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Australia Pockets $146 Million Windfall in Pokies Rush

31 December 2000

AUSTRALIA – Dec. 31, 2000—As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald: "State taxes from gaming machines were boosted by $146 million as pubs and clubs applied for almost 18,000 new poker machines last financial year - in a rush to beat the Government's freeze on pokie numbers.

"Poker machine profits in pubs and clubs topped $3.8 billion and gambling taxes reached $1.57 billion, now making up 11 per cent of State tax revenue.

"…Figures from the annual report of the Department of Gaming and Racing show profits from poker machines in pubs soared by 35 per cent last financial year, to $1.1 billion, while clubs boosted their returns by 5 per cent.

"…But from March this year, the Government restricted the number of poker machines in registered clubs. Pubs were limited to a maximum of 30 machines each.

"…Nevertheless, in the past financial year, the department processed 17,927 applications for new gaming machines.

"…The freeze also appears to have raised the value of poker machine licences, which have almost quadrupled from $50,000 to $190,000 in just two years…"

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