Victorian Gamblers Spend $66B on Pokies


According to research by the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Australians rank first when it comes to average yearly gambling losses ($1,000). Of course, that should come as no surprise when you consider that Oz has nearly 20% of the world’s pokies.

If that weren’t bad enough, AGR has also calculated that Victorian gamblers have lost $66 billion over the last three decades. Let’s pause for a moment and soak in that number.

$66 billion.

In case you’re trying to wrap your head around the value of that number, here’s something that might help. I present the current worth of four notable Australians:

  • Rupert Murdoch – Media mogul and investor – $18.3 billion
  • Frank Lowy – Businessman – $9.27 billion
  • Gina Rinehart – Mining magnate and heiress – $34.02 billion
  • James Packer – Businessman and investor – $3.7 billion

If you add their wealth together, you’ll come up with a total of $65.29 billion.

Leading Councils for Pokies

Which Victorian councils spend the most money on pokies on a daily basis? Well, I’ve included a list of the top ten below, which is taken from data by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.

It should be noted that all councils added together come to a daily total of $7,497,906. That’s over seven-million dollars…per day.

Anyway, let’s get to the list (in ascending order). I’ve also included the per-year totals out to the side.

  • Darebin – $226,091 ($46,800,934 per year)
  • Mornington Peninsula – $238,370 ($49,342,515 per year)
  • Wyndham – $297,727 ($61,629,449 per year)
  • Monash – $301,028 ($62,312,856)
  • Whittlesea – $324,844 ($67,242,759)
  • Greater Geelong – $326,227 ($69,812,595)
  • Hume – $348,790 ($72,199,631)
  • Greater Dandenong – $351,892 ($72,841,673)
  • Casey – $387,606 ($80,234,395)
  • Brimbank – $444,789 ($92,071,306)

Councils with the Most Pokies

It stands to reason that the councils with the most poker machines would also spend the most per day or year on gambling. However, there’s a certain amount of fluctuation, as you’ll see in the following ascending list. To the side of each entry, I’ve included the number of licensed gaming venues within the council.

  • Glen Eira – 771 pokies (11 venues)
  • Mornington Peninsula – 808 pokies (17 venues)
  • Hume – 829 pokies (14 venues)
  • Wyndham – 902 pokies (13 venues)
  • Kingston – 904 pokies (16 venues)
  • Casey – 911 pokies (13 venues)
  • Greater Dandenong – 927 pokies (14 venues)
  • Brimbank – 946 pokies (15 venues)
  • Monash – 955 pokies (15 venues)
  • Greater Geelong – 1,332 pokies (26 venues)

The Greater Geelong Area

Types of Gamblers in Victoria

From 2018 to 2019, the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation funded a study on gambling and health. The study asked questions of over 10,000 random Victorians and compared the data to previous studies.

Regardless of the year, the number of non-gamblers remains about the same. Of those polled in 2018-2019, 31% responded that they didn’t gamble. This fell along the same lines as data from 2014.

Next up is the largest group, which is defined as non-problem gamblers. In other words, these individuals do gamble, but they don’t overindulge in the hobby. This group accounts for 59.2% of Victorians

Low-risk gamblers are next, and these individuals make up 6.7% of the population. This percentage has dropped slightly since 2014, as it was previously 8.9%.

Moderate-risk gamblers account for 2.4%, while problem gamblers are 0.7%. Over the last decade, neither of these categories has experienced any significant change.

As for low and moderate gamblers, these individuals are still at risk. According to a 2008 to 2012 study, 1.8% of low-risk gamblers and 14% of moderate-risk gamblers eventually developed behaviour associated with problem gambling.