Residents across Fitzroy have broken a record when it came to the amount of money spent on poker machines this year. While previous years saw residents spending less than $95 million on the electronic games, this year has seen spending exceed $100 million.
This increase in gambling activity comes at a time when more people seem to be in need of financial assistance. According to a Peter McGuigan of the Salvation Army, more families are in need of help this holiday season and the charity is struggling to help provide the assistance that is needed. However, it has yet to be revealed whether this is a result of the increase in gambling activity or a cause of the phenomenon.
With more money being spent on pokies, more money is being pumped back into the economy. The Salvation Army receives funding from clubs which house poker machines, but will the increase in funding be enough to deal with the increased demand for assistance this year?
With this much spending taking place, it seems that there is a need for gambling reform. As such, a pokie reform trial will take place this year – while critics of precommitment technology brainstorm other ways to deal with the issue.