Local residents are blowing up to $30,000 at the pokies per day new data has revealed, with the Central Goldfields recording a total loss of nearly $10.6 million in 2019.
The shire’s total losses were just over one percent higher than 2018, where almost $10.5 million was lost, according to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.
Data for the Central Goldfields Shire — which includes Mount Alexander Shire — comes from three venues, the Maryborough Golf Club, the Highland Society and Castlemaine’s Cumberland Hotel.
The Highland Society, which contains the most electronic gaming machines (EGM) out of the three venues with 59 machines, had the biggest losses with $5,404,742 lost last year.
The Cumberland Hotel (30 EGMs) came in second with $2,976,407 for the year while the golf club’s (40 EGMs) total losses came to $2,200,370.
All three venues experienced marginal increases in losses, with the Highland’s up by one percent, the Cumberland by 1.1 percent and the golf club by 1.5 percent.
The month with the highest loss for the shire was August with just over $1 million spent on EGMs, while the lowest was March with $812,857.
Maryborough Highland Society general manager Malcolm Blandthorn said although the figures can seem alarming, much of the money goes towards community and public amenities.
For more on this story see the Front Page of The Advertiser, Friday, February 4