CCV letter Victorian MPs regarding gaming expenditure | Community Clubs Victoria

8 August 2016



To: the MP as addressed

By email:





I write to provide some important context to the Herald Sun’s front page article, “$50bn pokies pain” from Monday 1 August 2016.

The article twisted statistics to make it look like gaming machine expenditure is rising in Victoria, when this is clearly not the case.

Over last five years, gaming machine expenditure in Victoria has fallen 1.3% in nominal terms. In 2015/16, Victorians spent $65 million less on gaming machines than they did in 2012.

To put this into a broader context, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) retail data:

  • Victorians have spent nearly three times as much on eating out at cafes & restaurants over the last 24 years ($142.8 billion, not inflation adjusted or $5.95 billion per year)
  • Victorians spend $1 billion more on takeaway food than they do on pokies ($3.62 billion), which equates to $86.9 billion over the last 24 years.

In real, inflation-adjusted terms, Victorian gaming machine expenditure has fallen by around $1 billion since its peak in 2001-02.

Source: Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation


The $50.7 billion in reported expenditure in Victoria over the 24 years since the introduction of gaming is not all profit, with approximately $17.4 billion, or 34 per cent taken in State Government gambling tax. This does not include the licence fees, payroll tax, stamp duty and land taxes paid to the State Government.

More than 50 per cent of the total expenditure went to the for-profit commercial interests, to hotels and the Tatts and Tabcorp duopoly which operated gaming between 1992 and 2012.

Meanwhile, not-for-profit clubs received only 13 per cent of the total, much of which was used to pay salaries and as maintenance for free or below-cost community sporting facilities, including more than:

  • 220 sports fields;
  • 354 bowling greens;
  • 204 golf courses; and
  • 15,000 employees.

The fact is that the vast majority of people enjoy gaming machines responsibly and spend within their means.  Community clubs across Victoria and in your electorate remain focused on helping the minority of people who do develop a problem. We offer proven, evidence-based measures, such as self-exclusion.  It is evidence-based measures such as this that contribute to the problem gambling rate in Victoria being among the lowest in the world.

If you or your staff would like a briefing about this or other club related matters, please contact Siobhan Barry, Government Relations Manager (Victoria) on (03) 8851 4988, mobile 0439 214 085 or by email at [email protected].





Leon Wiegard

Executive President




P.S.  The latest KPMG National Club Census of the club movement will be available shortly, including data for your electorate. We will be in touch soon to provide the data and a briefing.