According to the Queensland government, local players spend around $300 million on pokies every month. During the pandemic, online poker machines have made even a bigger profit. This statistical data doesn’t include the income of offshore online casinos. Otherwise, the reported revenues would be at least twice higher.
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David McAnalen, a gambling addict, claims that the stress of job uncertainty, along with government COVID-19 payments encouraged high rates of online gambling. It’s comfortable to go and gamble whenever you feel like it. And people seem to have this opportunity now.
Welfare payments left money surplus for gamblers
Alex Russell, the Central Queensland University gambling researcher, states that the AU government welfare payments in the format of JobKeeper and JobSeeker boosted discretionary spending. This had a rapid impact on online gambling.
As soon as some venues started reopening in 2021, the decline in online gambling used to be one of the major expectations. Surprisingly, this hasn’t happened yet.
In Australia, people like using pokies in pubs and clubs. And this trend will always be there. However, online gambling has become a good alternative for those who can’t leave home.
Alex Russell says that there are many forms of help available for people suffering from destructive levels of gambling. Many people think they have it under control. When something bad happens, they start realizing they need help but it can be too late. All their money has gone, and they start having depressive thoughts.
Queensland imposed the use of the Victorian approach
According to Alex Russell, an average gambler gets to the point when he/she should stop. Once this doesn’t happen, the consequences may get more and more complicated in a matter of time.
Tim Costello, Alliance for Gambling Reform manager, claims that Queensland turns the nation to pokies losses. Oftentimes, this can be a 20% spike. He adds that the Victorian government made changes that encouraged the reduction of poker machine usage in an online format. The Victorian government keeps opening hours under control to establish some limits for gamblers. Nevertheless, most online casinos are operating up to 18 hours per day, when it comes to live streaming content.
Considering the most recent data, the difference in figures seems to be quite dramatic in terms of reduced losses, minimized community health issues, domestic violence, psychological health issues, and so on. It’s less than 25% of Aussies that play online pokies. Meanwhile, 50% of those playing are addicted to online gambling activities.
Tim Costello says that 50 cent of every dollar going through a video poker machine comes from a person who has an issue gambling. The consequences of inadequate gambling behavior include but are not limited to committing crimes, mental health and domestic violence. As a result, the assistance of medical professionals becomes incredibly important.
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