Pokies charitable donations don’t add up

Pokie machine operators provide only a ‘miniscule’ amount of gambling profits to the local community, a new study from Monash University has found.

The research found that in 2010-11, pokie users in NSW lost $5 billion, the equivalent of $1003 per adult. Of this New South Wales clubs donated $63.5 million to community organisations and charities, only 1.3% of poker machine losses. In Victoria, gamblers lost a total of $2.6 billion, ($701 per adult), of which the clubs donated $62.8 million, representing 2.4% of losses.

“There is no doubt that poker machines cause considerable harm” says the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Charles Livingstone; “Claims of community benefits are arguably a smokescreen to enlist the support of those who benefit from them - local sporting clubs and charities.”

“‘It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that poker machine community benefit claims are principally intended as a device to legitimate poker machine operations,” Dr Livingstone said.

Read more at Monash University