PUNTERS have lost $18.6 million in Warrnambool’s poker machines during the last financial year.
The latest figures show a drop in spending of almost $1 million compared with the previous financial year.
The Victorian Com-mission for Gambling Regulation’s data revealed on average $1.5 million was lost each month from July 2011 to June 2012.
Warrnambool Football Club Social Club’s 51 machines had the biggest cash injection with $4 million lost during the last financial year.
Mac’s Hotel on Fairy Street and Warrnambool Bowls Club were next in line with $3.8 million lost at both venues.
The City of Warrnambool has six poker machine venues with 234 gaming machines.
The highest monthly expenditure was in January with $1.69 million while June this year was the lowest with $1.45 million.
Earlier this year the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) upheld Warrnambool City Council’s decision to refuse a permit for 19 poker machines at Rafferty’s Tavern.
VCAT ruled that the risks of social and economic disadvantage to the west Warrnambool community outweighed any benefits of the proposal.
A VCAT hearing will be held in October with the owner of The Flying Horse Bar and Brewery seeking to overturn council’s decision earlier this year to reject eight pokies.
Some $7.5 million was lost on the 110 poker machines in the Colac Otway Shire from July 2011 to June 2012 compared to $7.4 million for the previous period.
A drop in pokie spending was recorded in the Corangamite Shire.
A total of $5.1 million was lost on Corangamite’s 57 poker machines in the last financial year compared to $5.5 million for the year before.
The Glenelg Shire had $7.3 million lost on its 120 poker machines.
This was compared to $6.8 million for the previous year. Moyne Shire does not have poker machines and is opposed to them.