Punters in the northern Queensland city of Mackay lost a whooping $5,584,562.45 on poker machines in the month of March 2015. This figure is up a staggering $361,350.12 on the previous month.
Derek Tuffield, deputy chairman of Gambling Help Network Queensland, is not surprised, unfortunately, by these statistics. He indicated that it is a very real problem facing the community.
"As financial stresses increase, people tend to turn to gambling in the hope for a quick fix. Financial pressure is alive and well for many people in the community."
Quick to jump to the defence of pokies, Justin O'Connor, CEO of the Queensland Hotels Association, emphasised that they were a 'legal form of entertainment.' He indicated that there were multiple policies and procedures in place to identify and help problem gamblers. One can't help but feel that it is really like shutting the gate once the horse has bolted ....
The Mackay region has 1822 poker machines in 45 venues.
As food for thought, the losses on Mackay's pokies alone last month could have bought :
- 2,233,824 loaves of bread
- 933,873 kg of apples
- 558,456 boxes of nappies (pack of 11)
- 1,867,746 bottles of 2lt milk
- 797,794 kg of bananas
- 2,396,807 packets of Tim Tams
The mind boggles ....
Source : Daily Mercury, 30 April 2015