Even though there are plenty of organizations that monitor and regulate gaming and pokies in Australia sometimes sudden spike in trends can become newsworthy. This newest spike, however, is not an exemplification of increase but the bellwether of a marked loss. Over the past year slots in Geelong have posted a net loss of around $57 million. Actually, according to the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation that number could be much higher when the latest numbers come in and more competent rendering of the slot machine losses are made apparent. Losses are down however folks are still worried about what this could mean for all parties involved.
As said losses in prior years were pretty dismal at $120 million peak loss in 2008/09, but estimates were much more positive for this current time period meaning the community would have to miss out on the expected revenue they would see from the presence of the slot machines. The numbers were temporarily increased when ATMs were pulled away from the vicinity of the slot machines. Considering these issues officials have gone so far as to state they are “committed to being responsive to community concerns about electronic gaming machines”, but they did not go as far as the demand for a $1 limits on slot machines.
According to the officials, there is no rush in implementing such a limitation even though currently the only limitation is set at $5 on certain machines creating a situation that is still hovering around a precariously high level of cost. However, they are still attempting to rectify the situation by stating that “We work with experts to prevent and minimise harm.” But according to the City of Greater Geelong Gaming Advisory Committee chair Jan Farrell who works for the Victorian Local Government Association advocates will still be working to limit these losses – an action that could be necessary with pubs and clubs in Geelong looking to expand their Pokies offering all the time.