New Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation statistics show gamblers in Campaspe Shire lost almost $7.5 million in 2013.TRENT HORNEMAN February 5, 2014 11:45am
Gamblers in Campaspe Shire are losing more than $20,000 a day to poker machines.
New Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation statistics show gamblers in the region lost $7,452,504.36 in 2013.
Last year, the number of poker machines in the shire rose from 167 in three venues to 209 machines in four venues — Echuca Hotel, American Hotel, Echuca Workers and Services Club and Kyabram Club.
The worst month for gamblers in the region was December, when they lost $672,392 in 31 days.
The numbers were slightly down on 2012, when gamblers lost more than $7.8
The figures are just for Victorian venues and do not include three of the region’s biggest poker machine venues at Moama Bowling Club, Rich River Golf Club Resort and Moama RSL.
St Luke’s Anglicare senior manager Phil Eddy said gambling counsellors helped more than 600 badly affected people last year.
‘‘By badly affected, (I mean) their relationship was in trouble or they were in trouble financially. The majority of them had an addiction,’’ he said.
Mr Eddy said research suggested for every person receiving help, five problem gamblers were walking around untreated.
He said poker machines preyed on people who were lonely, pensioners, economically-disadvantaged or had significant mental issues.
‘‘For these people it is a social activity,’’ he said.
‘‘It is easy for people to become addicted as machines are designed to give repetitive small payouts.
‘‘Even the designs of the machines, such as dolphins, are all done to attract certain client groups.’’
Mr Eddy said while governments could take many steps to curb gambling, they were reluctant to change.
He said it was time for governments to treat gambling the same way it had tobacco.
Mr Eddy said a government ban on ATMs in poker machine venues had helped to initially curb money gambled.
‘‘The move to make people go to a person at a poker machine venue and ask for cash out had an initial impact,’’ he said.
‘‘More and more younger people are being groomed through the rise of online and mobile phone applications.
‘‘Even if it is just playing for tokens, it is encouraging young people to gamble.
‘‘There needs to be a stop on bookmakers advertising at the ground and on television during quarter-time breaks at the footy.
‘‘I don’t want to hear young children say that their team is not going to win because they are paying more than the opposition.’’
Mr Eddy said he had come across parents seeking gambling counselling for their children.
‘‘It is a big unknown and a major concern,’’ he said.
‘‘There needs to be something done about this.
‘‘It is not just the impact on the gambler and their family, it has a far-reaching socio-economic impact.
‘‘Small businesses will not have the same sort of access to a person’s disposable income if they are heavily gambling.’’
RACV data shows Mitchell Shire has the highest number of insurance claims lodged in the region for animal-related collisions.
In a day made for football at the sun-bathed Lavington Sports Club Oval the 2015 Yarrawonga Under 16 Pigeons showed their class with a comprehensive victory in the AWJFL Grand Final against Wodonga.
Saturday, August 22 saw the Harston Memorial Hall packed to capacity for the annual Reg Poole Concert.
It would be the ultimate fairytale if Colbinabbin claimed the Heathcote and District Football League senior flag this season.
CHILDREN from across the district went crazy over Book Week last week.
Young Bombers pull off last quarter comeback to win under-16 premiership.
The Darley and Swettenham stallion parades attracted large numbers to the showpiece Northwood Rd properties on Sunday.
Berrigan public decides drainage works location
A THREE-MONTH-OLD girl from Heathcote who died on Sunday night did not have any physical signs of injuries when ambulance arrived, according to police.
Cobram Barooga leaders and tourism operators have welcomed the launch of a new tourism strategy focusing on events, which aims to attract more people to the Murray River.
Cancer claims one of its fiercest combatants.
Water allocations were increased in the Goulburn-Murray Water region today.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.