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Australia's Gambling Losses Rise to $13.3 Billion

27 April 2001

AUSTRALIA – April 27, 2001 –As reported by Australia "Australians' passion for gambling, and especially pokies, cost them a record $13.3 billion last financial year, as the machines swallowed cash and fattened state treasuries.

"Gambling losses in 1999-2000 jumped $900 million on the previous year, continuing an escalating trend. Most of that extra money was left behind in gaming machines.

"…The growing appetite of pokies for Australians' money can be seen in more than a trebling of losses to them over the past decade, according to Australian Gambling Statistics published yesterday.

"…They showed governments reaping $4.39 billion in revenue from all forms of gambling. Its bite into household disposable income continued to grow at 3.5 per cent, up 0.7 percentage points on the year before

"…Total turnover in Australian gambling was up 10.3 per cent on last year to $113.8 billion, with Victorians getting the most out of their gambling dollar by turning over $10,277 per capita, ahead of NSW's $9932.

"…The NSW Council of Social Service said the figures showed an even more pressing need for greater regulation of the industry, including assessment by local governments of gambling's social impact before planning approval."

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