Australia’s pokies industry contributes a substantial AU$8.32 billion to the national economy annually – this is according to data published last week at the Australasian Gaming Expo in Sydney. The study comes amidst strong criticism against slot machines in the country. Read on.
Pokie Machines Contributions to the Australian Economy
The data comes as part of a new survey carried out on behalf of the Gaming Technologies Association (GTA). GTA is an industry group in Australia which represents renowned gaming manufacturers such as Aristocrat Technologies, IGT Australia, Tabcorp, Konami Australia and Scientific Games. The research revealed that pokies contributed AU$8.32 billion to the Australian economy in annual added value. More so, in the 2016-2017 fiscal year when the survey was conducted, the tax revenue that was generated from pokies was a whooping AU$5.5 billion. However, these are only some of the findings detailed in the report that is yet to be released by the Centre for International Economics consultancy.
The data was compiled over the past financial year by the group and it has been put in an analysis commissioned by the GTA. Ross Ferrar presented the latest statistics during a seminar on the first day of the Australasian Gaming Expo. During the discussion, Ferrar highlighted some of the concerns which anti-gambling campaigners often protest by reminding that the revenue generated from pokie machines and other gambling operations benefit all Australian citizens. The tax money goes to funding hospitals, schools, roads and other public infrastructure.
Critics Still Oppose Pokies Regardless of Economic Benefits
However, Ferrar received a backlash from gambling opponents at the seminar for saying that the contribution made by pokies is undoubtedly very important and that society should also recognize that slot machines offer millions of Australians harmless enjoyment and entertainment – overlooking the effects which pokies have on gamblers, such as problem gambling.
Last year, more than half of the AU$24 billion gambling loss in AU was generated by pokies, according to government statistics. In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, Aussies lost a substantial AU$12 billion to pokies. For such reasons, Australians are regarded the biggest gamblers worldwide.