After the COVID-19-related lockdown in Victoria, Australia ended, the slot machine gambling losses have kept increasing. Since October, when the venues were allowed to resume operation, millions were lost to gambling. Furthermore, Melbourne’s western suburb, Brimbank, recorded the highest daily losses from slot machines in February – $482,168.
Gambling Losses in Victoria Go Through the Ceiling
Victoria is the second-smallest state in Australia. With a population of 6.6 million people, the state is infamously known for holding the biggest daily record in slot gambling machine losses in Australia. Although the gambling losses flatlined during the lockdown from April through October last year, after that, they have kept increasing each month.
Melbourne’s western suburb, Brimbank recorded slot machine gaming losses of $14.6 million in March alone. Before that, in February, Brimbank recorded Victoria’s highest ever daily losses from slot machines hitting $482,168. In January, slot machine losses in Brimbank hit $13.8 million and $14.7 million in December 2020.
Based on those numbers, despite the months of lockdown last year, slot machine gaming losses in Brimbank have gotten worse. In fact, according to Brimbank mayor, Ranka Rasic, who recently spoke to ABC, cumulatively, for the last 10 years, the suburb has lost more than $1.4 billion to gambling.
Can Victoria Reduce Its Gambling Losses?
Besides many people who are suffering from gambling disorders, more factors boosting the slot gaming losses in Victoria. Gambling businesses in the state have the longest working hours out of any state in Australia. Those venues are open 20 hours a day, which undoubtedly boosts the gambling losses.
Although the state losses millions to gambling monthly, the legislature is trying to push a reform that may reduce those losses and protect players. One way to achieve this is by reducing the working hours of the gambling venues. Furthermore, the local government has also proposed a cap of $1 on bets, as well as an EFTPOS daily withdrawal limit of $500.
Victoria’s legislature also proposes new rules to tackle and reduce gambling harm. Furthermore, lawmakers have proposed freezing the number of gambling machines until 2042. The legislature also considers limiting cheque cashing services near gambling venues and their advertising as well.