Region’s punters lose more on pokies, new figures show

South-west gamblers lost more than $28.5 million to the region’s poker machines in the past financial year, figures show.

A total of $28,515,052 was spent at gaming venues in the City of Warrnambool, Corangamite and Glenelg shire in the 2017-18 financial year, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation report shows.  

It is about $340,000 more than was lost across the region in the 2016-17 financial year, which was a total of $28,175,326.

Warrnambool’s eight poker machine venues raked in more than $19 million, compared with $18.7 million in 2016-17.

More than $2.5 million was spent in Corangamite Shire’s two venues, compared with $2.7 million the year before. 

More than $6.9 million was spent at the four venues in Glenelg Shire, up from $6.6 million in the 2016-17 financial year.

The south-west is home to more than 400 poker machines.

Warrnambool has more than 230 poker machines, Corangamite Shire has 57 and Glenelg Shire has 120 machines. There are no poker machines in the Moyne Shire.

The tourist season was the biggest time for Warrnambool gaming venues, with $1,717,615.16 spent in January, followed closely by December with $1,717,615.16 spent in that month.

Punters spent the most at Warrnambool’s Mac’s Hotel with more than $3.6 million expended in the past financial year, followed by the City Memorial Bowls Club with more than $3.5 million spent.

The biggest expenditure in Glenelg Shire was Portland’s Richmond Henty Hotel with $2,515,742 spent, compared with $2,205,538 in the 2016-17 financial year.

Camperdown’s Commercial Hotel was where people spent the most in Corangamite Shire with $1,541,941 expended in the past financial year.

In total, $2.695 billion was lost in Victoria at the pokies between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. This is an increase of about $86 million, or 3.29 per cent, from pokies losses in 2016–2017.