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Pokies get more of a work-out in Devonport

COSTLY PASTIMES: More than $11.1 million was lost on pokies in Devonport in 2013-14 equating to $433 per resident.DEVONPORT and West Coast poker machines swallow annual profits of more than $400 per resident.

More than $11.1 million was lost on pokies in Devonport in 2013-14.

Divided by municipal population, that equates to $433 per resident.

The average loss for Devonport pokies users would be much higher, given many people never use the machines at all.

The average spend was even higher on the West Coast than in Devonport, at $484 per resident.

Both were more than double the state average pokies loss per resident of $215.

Mersey independent MLC Mike Gaffney was concerned the North-West seemed to be spending significantly more per person on pokies than other regions.

“I think there needs to be some investigation into why that’s the case,” Mr Gaffney said.

“There may not be enough things for people to do, or transport to meet socially.”

He said there were concerns some people’s spending on pokies affected other family members, including children, but noted many people got enjoyment from the machines.

If people had covered their basic needs, had food on the table, power bills paid and children looked after, Mr Gaffney said: “If there’s any left over and they want to have a flutter, who are we to tell them what to do?”

Of the 14 municipalities listed separately in the Tasmanian Gaming Commission’s annual report, Glenorchy ($418) was the only other one with an average pokies loss per resident of $400 or more.

Burnie was also relatively high, at $372, while Central Coast averaged $308 and Waratah-Wynyard $365.

Statewide, nearly $111 million was lost on pokies in 2013-14, which was down by about $2 million on the previous year.

Gaming machines increased by 20, to 2373, spread across 99 venues.

A state Community Support Levy reaped $4.47 million from gaming machine profits during the financial year.

The figures are based on the total amounts wagered, less the amounts won by players.

The average pokie losses per resident calculated by The Advocate do not consider where players live, so they would be distorted by people who live in one municipality gambling in another, and by pokie playing done by tourists.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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