The gambling industry in Tasmania keeps facing massive challenges as its losses have skyrocketed. The total lost amount this year increased by nearly half compared to last year, when the country was hit badly by COVID-19.
Total Losses Were $18 Million Higher than 2018-2019
During the 2019-2019 season, the total recorded losses were $137.4 million. But that was the pre-COVID19 era. This year, the total amount lost was $18 million higher.
Pokies had a massive blow as pubs and clubs had a total loss of $117.3 million in 2020-2021. These numbers were published by the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission and they represent a massive jump compared to 2019-2020 when the recorded losses were $79.5 million.
Keno was also hit badly as its losses were $38.3 million, a massive leap from $25.6 million. As the numbers show, the total lost in 2020-2021 is $155.6 million, which is a big jump compared to the losses in 2019-2020, which were $105.1 million.
Minimizing the losses is now the main focus of the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission, as its chair, Jenny Cranston stated. She said that the commission has been closely watching the industry ever since gambling venues were reopened in July 2020. During the period, it was noted that player expenditure increased and the biggest concern was that it continued to increase in the many following months.
Considering the fact that vulnerable people had to be protected during this turbulent period, the commission reminded license holders to be effective in applying the right measures to protect players.
Tasmanian Resident Stole Thousands of Dollars to Fund her Gambling Addiction
Recently, a rather bizarre event took place in Tasmania. Rachel Naomi Perri was jailed for six years for stealing $676,000 from the Tasmanian Veterinary Services, where she worked as a manager. This is one of the reasons why the commission was very strict about license holders making sure that they help those that develop gambling problems in this period.
According to official reports, Perri made a total of 475 illegal transactions between 2016-2019 and used the money to play on a real-money gambling app. The only problem was that she said the virtual coins she bought couldn’t be converted into real cash. After her house was searched by police, she pleaded guilty to 25 counts of fraud.
Casinos Faced Similar Losses, But the Government Was Relentless in Taxes
Losses on pokies at casinos in 2020-2021 was significantly higher than 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. In the 2018-2019 season, the reported losses were $67.3 million. That number decreased in 2019-2020, as it reached $50.8 million, but then, it sky-rocketed to $74.7 million in 2020-2021.
However, this did not change a lot for the government as the total recorded tax revenue in 2020-2021 was $107.6 million, an increase from $83.6 in 2019-2020 and $83.5 million 2018-2019. License penalties and fees added another $2.2 million. Both Australian National Hotels (Wrest Point) and The Country Club Casino were fined for failing to meet the standards, while many properties that had a gaming license were fined or censured.