Revealed: The whopping amount Warwick loses on pokies
SOUTHERN Downs pokies made an average of $1397 every hour in December.
Queensland Government figures show, across the Southern Downs region, the 346 poker machines made a total of $1 million in December - an average of $3004 per machine.
The monthly taking was up $116,879 on what the region's pokies made in December 2017, a 13 per cent increase.
Alliance for Gambling Reform director Tim Costello said Australians lost about $14 billion every year to pokies.
"Rising pokies losses are causing misery across Queensland, particularly in more vulnerable communities, adding to crime, homelessness, family breakdowns, suicide and bankruptcy,” he said.
But Clubs Queensland communications and government relations manager Laura Bos Ms Bos said gambling was one of many revenue streams clubs used to fund community projects.
"Clubs are member-owned community enterprises, they are not for profit,” she said.
"The whole impetus for the government allowing gaming into clubs was so clubs could provide important social roles for communities.
"Outside tax, we know that clubs have a social impact of about $850 million per annum of what they put back into the community. That includes maintaining football fields, assisting veterans, putting equipment to surf lifesavers.”
Ms Bos said clubs' membership requirement put them in a unique position to monitor how much people were spending on poker machines and identify potential problem gamblers.
"We certainly run that ruler over it as well,” she said.
"The key thing with us is we are community driven instead of profit driven. Clubs are community. We have a vested interest in ensuring our community is safe. We work very hard to do that, because our motivations are different. We are very big players on anything to do with responsible gambling.”
Mr Costello said the Queensland Government needed to reduce the maximum bet on pokies to $1 and significantly reduce trading hours.
"State Governments are the biggest gambling addicts of all, taking about $6 billion in annual tax revenue from the $24 billion lost to gambling each year,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said the Alliance for Gambling Reform had not approached them about lowered maximum pokies bets.
"Queensland's maximum bet for club and hotel gaming machines is the equal lowest nationally and is lower than New South Wales and the ACT,” she said.
"The Attorney-General's office has received no correspondence from the Alliance for Gambling Reform in regard to this matter.
"The Palaszczuk Government decoupled the licensed hours for gambling and the service of liquor in extending trading hours specifically to address alcohol-fuelled violence.” -NewsRegional
Top 10 highest machine takings in December
Gold Coast $28,775,744.29
Moreton Bay $19,055,321.66
Sunshine Coast $13,244,429.96