According to figures released by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, $73.3 billion was spent on gaming in New South Wales in the 2014/15 financial year, despite a slight decrease in gaming machines in the state.
The amount of money put through gaming machines saw an increase of 6 per cent on the previous year, with a $68.9 billion turnover in 2013/14. This is despite 244 gaming machines being repossessed by the New South Wales Government.
According to Fairfax, the Fairfield area had the largest turnover, with an expenditure of $7.6 billion into the area’s 3300 machines. This was followed by the Canterbury local government area (LGA), where $3.67 billion was put through 1988 machines; and the Bankstown LGA where $3.66 billion was wagered in 2527 machines.
The reduction of machines in New South Wales by 244 in the last 12 months is due to an amendment to the Gaming Machine Act 2001 that states that when electronic gaming entitlements are sold, one in three machines are remaindered to the government.
A spokesperson for ILGA commented on the statistics, stating: "In terms of the number of gaming machines, they are collated as a 'point in time' figure at the end of each financial year for the annual report, however the number fluctuates during the course of the year (including, for example, if machines are taken off-line while venues are closed for renovations, during sales transfer processes or for other reasons).
"The 'turnover' figures refer to the total value in dollars of bets made on gaming machines, including bets that are made using credits won during the course of play (i.e. it is not player losses and should not be reported as such).
"In NSW, gaming machines are required to return at least 85 per cent (or maximum 15 per cent loss) over the playing out of their full course of combinations, with the average return of all gaming machines over this period being about 90 per cent. However, the return during a single playing session varies – a player may win more than they put into a machine or they may lose more than 15 per cent."
The spokesperson also made a point of stressing the actions the New South Wales government has taken to reduce problem gambling.
"The 2012 Prevalence of Gambling and Problem Gambling in New South Wales report classified 0.8 per cent of NSW adults as problem gamblers. The 2015/16 NSW Budget allocated $18 million to the Responsible Gambling Fund to support efforts to combat problem gambling."
At the time of publication, a spokesperson for the Gaming Technologies Association was not available for comment.