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Data sought and paid for by NSW Greens MP Justin Field has revealed that Clarence Valley residents fed $73,894,951 into poker machines in just three months last year; however, losses are well below the state average.
The data, obtained from the government’s Liquor and Gaming NSW, analyses club and hotel turnover and income from electronic gaming machines for the last quarter of 2016. It showed that the Clarence put $73,894,951 into poker machines in a three-month period.
Five hundred and sixty-one electronic gaming machines located at 14 clubs turned over $53,595,286, made a net profit of $4,822,832 and paid $624,309 in tax.
Two hundred and fifty-seven electronic gaming machines located at 29 hotels turned over $20,299,665, made a net profit of $1,958,169 and paid $263,252 in tax.
Electronic gamers in the Clarence Valley lost $5,447,141 to machines in clubs and $2,221,421 in hotels – a total of $7,668,562, which includes tax but not each venue’s expenses (deducted before calculating a net profit).
According to figures released by Clarence Valley Council (CVC) in its December edition of the Clarence Valley Economic Monitor, there were 22,040 people employed in the valley during the September 2016 quarter.
The average income among those workers, as presented in the most recent figures published in the Office of Local Government’s Time Series Data 2014/15, which analyses each local government area (LGA) across the state, is $34,988 (taxable and non-taxable individuals in 2010).
Marrying these figures creates a (time distorted) total average quarterly income for workers across the valley of $192,782,880.
Which means that 3.977 per cent (on average) of the valley’s total income, on a quarterly basis, was lost to gambling through poker machines – or an average loss per employed person of $348.