New South Wales needs to end its addiction to the pokies

by Bill Browne

NSW has one poker machine for every 88 people – more than 10 times the amount in Western Australia

Research by The Australia Institute reveals just how addicted New South Wales is to poker machines.

While NSW accounts for around 0.15% of the world’s population, it has 37% of the world’s poker machines that are not located within casinos or other gaming establishments.

NSW has one poker machine for every 88 people. By contrast, Western Australia, which does not allow poker machines outside of casinos, has 941 people per machine.

The intrusion of poker machines into hotels and clubs is something other countries do not experience, and yet in NSW and other states in Australia, it has become endemic.

Poker machines are the main form of gaming machine in only 35 countries around the world. But Australia, led by NSW, is odd in allowing these machines into family venues like pubs and clubs. Only a quarter of countries with poker machines let them operate outside of casinos, gambling halls and other dedicated gambling venues.

The situation in NSW is not normal and the fight to remove pokies from community life needs to continue.

Related research

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