NSW Anti-Gambling Opponents Concerned After Punters Lose $2.1bn

Updated On Jan 26, 2023 by Ella McDonald


  • Punters in NSW lost $2.1 billion in just three months in the third quarter of 2022
  • Pokie machines at NSW clubs account for 44% of the losses
  • Gambling reform advocates say the figures highlight the need for cashless gaming in NSW

There are growing calls for gambling reform by anti-gambling activists in New South Wales (NSW), Australia after latest figures released by Liquor and Gaming NSW show gamblers in the state lost over $2.1 billion in less than 100 days playing on pokie machines.

Pokie Machines Generate More Profits as Gamblers’ Losses Increase

Pubs and clubs throughout NSW racked up a combined $23 million in profits a day from pokie machines while gamblers’ losses increased by 11% in the third quarter of 2022. Just 26% of the total number of pokie machines in NSW are operated by pubs but they constitute 44% of all losses.

Looking at the profit distribution among metropolitan local government areas (LGAs) in NSW, pokie machines in Canterbury-Bankstown recorded the highest profit of $182 million, followed by those operating in Fairfield and Cumberland which generated $174 million and $124 million respectively.

The pokie machine industry in regional NSW also proved highly profitable, with pokie machines in Central Coast generating the highest profit among regional LGAs of $85,887,361. Wollongong is second on the list ($53,171,635), followed by Newcastle ($51,403,625).

Overall, pokie machines located in the top 10 metropolitan LGAs profited an astonishing $980 million, while those in the top 10 regional LGAs generated $362 million from July to September 2022 according to the latest figure published.

Calls Grow for Cashless Gaming at NSW Pubs

The massive gambling losses, which translate to nearly $1 million every hour and $2.4 million each day, have been described as “obscene” by gambling reform advocate and Wesley Mission chief executive Reverend Stu Cameron. He said the figures further highlight the need to introduce cashless gaming at pubs and clubs across NSW, a measure being pushed by Premier Dominic Perrottet.


Jim Wackett, general manager of Wesley Mission, said it’s about time major gambling reforms are implemented in the state. The latest data from Liquor and Gaming NSW show that overall gambling harm is on the rise, with those residing in areas of lower social economic advantage more likely to develop gambling-related problems. They are also the ones being targeted by the pokie machines according to Wackett.

Perottet’s cashless gaming proposal is widely supported by government officials and various gambling reform groups but strongly opposed by NSW clubs. The NSW Premier is firm on his plans, with the final details currently being worked out.

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Ella McDonald Author

Worldwide gambling related news stories are what you will find being written by Ella, she has a keen interest however in UK and European based new stories relating to all gaming environments, and she is always prepared to ask the difficult questions many other journalists avoiding asking those in power.

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[…] harm caused by pokie machines, with the latest figures from the Liquor and Gaming NSW showing NSW gamblers lost more than $2.1 billion between July and September 2022. That’s equivalent to losses of nearly $1 million per […]