SLOTS BENEFIT THE AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY
A new study shows that legal slot machines operations benefit the country’s revenues.
Australia.- Although “pokie” machines (as slots machines are known in Australia) are facing a national crackdown in a framework of strict opposition against gaming expansion in the country, legal operations of those machines “contribute US$6.1 billion in value added to the Australian economy every year,” as revealed by a study on the sector by Centre for International Economics.
“So when the anti-gambling activists drive off down the pokies-funded road to drop their kids at the pokies-funded school, and when they have to visit the pokies-funded hospital, I hope that they remember that government revenue from gambling benefits all Australians, whether they like poker machines or not,” said Ross Ferrar, chief executive at Gaming Technologies Australia, a group representing gaming manufacturers in the country.
Meanwhile, after the UK authorities announced that the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) will be slashed 98 per cent from £100 to £2, Australian Independent MP Andrew Wilkie said that he hoped the measure would increase pressure on local governments to introduce similar restrictions.
However, according to the research by the Centre for International Economics: “State governments’ budget papers are forecasting increases in their pokies tax revenue in coming years, rising in Victoria from US$801 million in the past financial year to US$853.3 million by 2020-21. Pokies taxes in NSW are projected to rise even more sharply, from US$1.1 billion to US$1.3 billion, in the same period, while Queensland is expecting a 20 per cent surge in pokies tax revenue from US$503 million to US$602 million.”