Saturday, May 06, 2006

Growth Industry

Queensland is experiencing a poker machine explosion:

More than 100 poker machines a month are being added to pubs and clubs across Queensland. New figures show the number of pokies in the state has topped 40,000... At the end of February, there were 40,171 machines in Queensland, up 539 from 39,632 last September. This does not include poker machines in the state's four casinos... Queensland now had more poker machines per head of population than Victoria.
Welfare groups are understandably concerned at the thought of more pokies fuelling gambling addictions. I've commented on the Government's reasons for boosting poker machine numbers before.

Defying logic as usual on this topic, State Treasurer Anna Bligh said:

"... the Government was putting significant resources into combating problem gambling. Almost $300 million had been paid to community groups under the Gambling Community Benefit Fund."
The Government is putting significant resources in? Not really - the Gambling Community Benefit Fund is a kickback paid by gambling venues to be allowed to operate.

It's the height of irony that some of these funds may be used to fight the impact of problem gambling.


The Government expects to collect $527 million in gaming machine tax next financial year...
If the operators can afford all those millions in tax and 'donations', just how much are they making?

-- Nick

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