A survey done by gaming manufacturers finds that the pokies industry has contributed AU$8.32 billion to Australia’s economy during the 2016/17 fiscal year.
During the Australasian Gaming Expo in Sydney last week, the data which was compiled on behalf of the Gaming Technologies Association (GTA), was released to the public. The association was representing manufacturers like IGT Australia, Aristocrat Technologies, Scientific Games, Tabcorp, and Konami Australia.
Pokies Industry a Boon for the Economy
The figures were presented by Ross Ferrer at a seminar on the expo’s first day. To the beratement of anti-gambling groups, Ferrar explained that taxes from gambling operations and pokies machines benefit all Australians and the government. According to Casino Guardian, Ferrar said the massive contribution of the pokies industry to Australia’s economy are very important and should be recognized. They provide “harmless” enjoyment and entertainment. Ferrar said these taxes are diverted into government funding for infrastructure like schools, roads, and hospitals. “So, when the anti-gambling activists drive off down the pokies-funded road to drop their kids at the pokies-funded school, and when they have to visit the pokies-funded hospital, I hope that they remember that government revenue from gambling benefits all Australians, whether they like poker machines or not,” he reportedly said.
The rest of the conclusions drawn in the report are yet to be released by the Centre for International Economics.
Pokies Industry a Major Expense for Players
Ferrar faced strong criticism from anti-gambling groups over these comments. Many anti-pokies advocates said his comments ignore the effects the pokies industry has on families afflicted with problem gambling. In 2017, more than half of the record AU$24 billion in gambling losses in Australia came from poker machines. In the 2015/16 fiscal year, Australians lost AU$12 billion to pokies machines cementing their position as the biggest gamblers in the world again.
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