Wyndham has experienced the largest increase in pokies spending in the state in a six-month period.
Between July and December last year, more than $53.75 million was spent at Wyndham’s 13 electronic gaming venues, figures released by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation show.
This was an increase of $2.86 million (5.62 per cent) from between July and December 2016, when Wyndham’s poker machines took in more than $50.89 million.
In total, $1.372 billion was spent on Victoria’s poker machines between July and December last year, an increase of one per cent (or $13.5 million) compared to the same period in 2016.
There are 839 poker machines in Wyndham, which attracted revenue of more than $97.76 million in the 2016-17 financial year.
Brimbank’s poker machines took in $134.14 million, Melton’s $61.15 million, Maribyrnong’s $54.06 million and Hobsons Bay’s $46.90 million.
Wyndham council launched a Responsible Gambling Strategy last year and voted to join the Alliance for Gambling Reform, which campaigns to reform the gambling industry to reduce the harm associated with gambling.
Cr Josh Gilligan, who chairs the council’s gambling advocacy group, said poker machines often affected the most vulnerable people in society, with problem gambling linked to family violence, job losses and increased crime.
Cr Gilligan said the new strategy would help the council take a strong stand on the “huge issue” of gambling.
Visit www.gamblershelpnnw.org.au or contact Gambler’s Help – North and North Western on 1300 133 445 if you need help.