Playing poker machines is a popular leisure activity across the country, and Melbourne is seeing its fair share of pokies activity. A recent report shows that poker machines are becoming increasingly popular in the city, with a 5.9% rise in spending.
From 2011 to 2012, poker machines earned $70 million. This marks a $4 million increase from the previous year, when just $66 million was spent on pokies. This was to be expected as poker machine activity is on the increase throughout the country, and a city as large as Melbourne would not be exempt from the growth.
The spending amounts to $712 in losses per person in Melbourne. It is somewhat higher than the state average of $613, however there are some areas in Australia where losses average more than $800.
Experts are unsure as to why poker machine spending has spiked in Melbourne. The city has one of the highest unemployment rates in Victoria; so, it may seem as though the issue of problem gambling may come into play. If this is the case, increase in spending should be treated with caution. Counselling and education may need to be employed should losses increase any further.