Tuesday, February 9, 2010

farmdoc's blog post number 660

Are you up for some arithmetic? As at June 2007 Tasmania’s population was 493,300 [1]. As this was over 2½ years ago, let’s round it up to 500,000. A recent Greens Media Release [2] quotes official government data [3] that in the calendar year 2009 Player Expenditure (i.e. amount wagered less amount won) on all Electronic Gaming Machines was $220,032,572. Dividing $220,032,572 by 500,000 gives an average $440 ‘pokie loss’ for every Tasmanian. About 30% of the 500,000 Tasmanians are under the legal gambling age (I’m an unsophisticated old guy, so I prefer the word ‘gambling’ to its modern euphemism ‘gaming). Excluding this 30%, the $440 rises to $629. But clearly some of the $220,032,572 net loss was incurred by people living elsewhere and visiting Tasmania, which reduces $629 figure, as we’re looking at Tasmanians only. Even an average $440 is high, because many adults – including me – don’t bother with Electronic Gaming Machines at all. I guess the per capita losses are biggest in very wealthy people, and very poor people who seek instant riches. More fool them. But that’s unfair; it’s an addiction. However the $220,032,572 net loss figure shows how foolish it is to expect to win consistently. In 2009 the average loss per machine was $59,938. Finally, all the above figures exclude non-electronic gambling. What a cancer in our society. And created and sanctioned by a government hungry for revenue. A pox on it.

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