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Gold Coast Gamblers are 'Biggest Losers'

Gambling losses on the Gold Coast is steadily increasing, with new figures showing that Gold Coasters are losing up to $750,000 a day on poker machines.

Emma Malone, a Gambling Help services educator for the Queensland Government, said that there is a ‘hidden epidemic’ of gambling on the Coast and that a second casino would  be dangerous.

In August poker machine losses totalled over $23 million, which is an increase of $4 million since April this year according to figures released from the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation.

Ms Malone said that these figures are concerning and it shows a growing issue with gambling addiction on the Gold Coast.

Clubs Queensland boss, Doug Flockhart said that the recent spike in poker machine losses was not linked to problem gambling.

Australian Government Productivity Commission report states that 15 per cent of people who use gambling machines are problem gamblers, while a further 15 per cent are at moderate risk of becoming a problem gambler.

What are the signs of problem gambling?

  • Missing work or study to gambling.
  • Betting more than they can afford.
  • Not able to set limits.
  • Attempts to chase gambling losses.
  • Has disagreements and arguments with family and friends over gambling.
  • Hides gambling from friend and family.
  • Uses gambling as a way to escape depression or stress.
  • Gambling is there only form of recreation or social activity.

Anyone seeking assistance with problem gambling can contact the 24-hour confidential gambling hotline on 1800 858 858, or Gambling Help Services on 07 5575 6122.

From: Gold Coast Sun, Thursday 18th October 2012