The Data's Out! - Alliance for Gambling Reform

Victorians lose 3.1 billion a year from pokies - we need a health response

Dear Minister Horne and Minister Foley,

From the last full year of pokies operating, 2019, the data shows Victorians lost $3.1 billion a year from poker machines. That's an average of $8.6 million per day.

As you know, Australians lose more to gambling per capita than anyone else in the world. This is not business as usual - this is a serious problem that requires urgent action. Victoria's most stressed communities are experiencing the highest losses.

These losses go beyond the financial. Gambling harm is inextricably linked to mental and physical ill-health through it's connections to people concurrently experiencing relationship and family breakdowns, domestic violence, financial stress, homelessness, and even death. 

The state's health sector wears the brunt of the fallout caused by poker machines, so they should have a mandate to act to reduce the harm. Gambling needs to be recognised in the state's public health strategies and plans. 

I am asking you to put our communities first. Gambling must be formally recognised as a health issue. 

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The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation has released individual pokies venue loss data for 2019, which once again confirmed the enormous damage being done to Victoria’s most vulnerable communities.

Victorians lost $3.1 billion in 2019, the last year we have a full year of data pre-pandemic. That is $8.6 million per day. This is money that should've been spent in our local communities. We know that a public health approach to gambling is what's necessary to minimise the harm. Join us in calling on the Gambling and Health Minister's to push for a formal recognition of gambling harm as a public health issue.