- New South Wales players lost millions more to club poker machines in the second half of 2020 than in the same period in 2019, new data shows.
- The first numbers from the ABC show that these losses rose by 7% to a staggering $ 2.17 billion.
- West Sydney postcodes saw the biggest losses, and scientists suggest that unique economic circumstances during the pandemic may be contributing to this.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider Australia homepage.
According to reports, winnings from poker machines in New South Wales clubs skyrocketed in the second half of 2020, suggesting that many of the state’s gaming rooms were thriving despite the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the country obtained from ABC, gamblers injected $ 2.17 billion into slot machines between June and November 2020, up 7% over the same period in 2019.
The data reportedly shows the largest losses in local government areas across West Sydney.
Club Pokie machine winnings in Fairfield were up $ 10 million year over year, ultimately leaving players with $ 197 million out of pocket.
The story is similar in Canterbury-Bankstown, Blacktown, and Penrith, all of which saw rising losses compared to 2019.
In response to the pandemic, clubs, hotels and casinos closed in March 2019, but venues reopened from June.
In August, a preliminary report from the University of Sydney found that nearly three in four respondents said they gambled less often during the shutdown. Most respondents, however, expected that they would return to their pre-pandemic play patterns if restrictions were lifted completely.
Speaking to ABC about the new gambling data, Associate Professor Sally Gainsbury, who led the University of Sydney report, said the surge in winnings at poker machines was reducing the impact of JobKeeper and the JobSeeker coronavirus payment on continued unemployment and free time could reflect those without work.
While scholars suggest that a perfect storm of social and economic factors lured gamers back into the pokies, ClubsNSW told ABC that pokie machine profits have lagged other sectors emerging from COVID-19 lockdowns.
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