A recent study conducted by the Herald Sun and subsequent article on RSLPokies.com revealed that since the pokies were introduced to Victoria in 1992, over $50 billion has been poured into them. That is an average of $2 billion Australian dollars being put into the pokies across Victoria every year for the last quarter of a century!
Monash Residents Doing Their Part
With pokie spend averaging around $2billion a year across the state of Victoria it is good to know the people of Monash are doing their part and contributing to keep that frightening average as high as it is – with recent figures from the Victoria Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) revealing that:
Poker machine players in Monash have lost $111.4million in in the first 6 months of 2016 – with losses averaging $9.3million each and every month
That makes Monash the sixth largest loser on poker machines of all local government areas in the state according to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation(VCGLR) although as we’ll discuss shortly, this ‘commission’ charged with policing the licensing and distribution of electronic gaming machines in Victoria seems to run on a culture of corruption and pokie greed. But first, let’s take a closer look at the town of Monash and where the money was lost.
Where The Money Went – Pokie Losses in Monash
Monash is home to 997 poker machines across 15 venues with punters losing out on the pokies at various venues and clubs – the most notable of all being:
- Mulgrave Country Club's 105 machines €” $12.85 million.
- Village Green Hotel in Mulgrave’s 79 machines – $11.53 million.
- Matthew Flinders Tavern’s 75 machines – $11.47 million.
- Vegas at Waverly Gardens’ 105 machines – $11 million.
Monash Council approved a gambling policy opposing the transfer of slot machines to disadvantaged areas and advocacy on tougher gambling regulations.
Mayor Geoff Lake, who is also chairman of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, said the council would do anything to get off the list of biggest losers.
It (losses) disproportionately falls onto a small number of people who are most impacted by that burden especially in lower wealth households, Cr Lake said. It is an unconscionable that the state coffers and the private individuals and big corporations are profiting at the cost of many in out community. We can't put the genie back in the bottle but we can change the way the machines deceive and mislead people, put in spend limits … and have tougher approaches to poker machines.
Cr Lake said more than $2 billion had been lost in Monash €” the highest in the state €” since the introduction of poker machines two decades ago.
The various gambling venues and clubs that indirectly benefit from the tax revenue generated by this obscene pokie spend have also refused to give cash to community groups €” except the Waverley War Widows and Mothers Association – and even then only if they meet in venues home to gaming machines.
The council which led the Enough Pokies campaign in 2014, agreed to sign an open letter in support of gambling reforms at last month's council meeting.*
*Gambling Reforms that are being put back on the table thanks to Nick Xenophon and Andrew Wilkie – Learn more HERE
A Culture of Corruption Within The VCGLR?
A recent application by the Langwarrin Hotel in Beretta for 10 more pokies to be provided on the condition that the Hotel build a state of the art children’s playground on the premises was approved by the VCGLR prompting outrage from anti-gambling and pro-family groups – and rightly bloody so!
A report by Monash University academics Dr Charles Livingstone and Louise Francis released last year found 94% of pokies applications by pubs and clubs were approved by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation between July 2007 and June 2014. Dr Charles Livingstone said it seems the chances of obtaining an approval for pokies from the VCGLR are significantly higher than the odds stacked against pokies players.
We knew they approved a high proportion but we didn't realise it was that high, Dr Livingstone told RSLPokies.com
The review of VCGLR decisions, funded by the Municipal Association of Victoria, took about two years to compile and found 132 out of a total of 142 applications researched were approved.
We’ll leave you with this poignant reminder