On January 31st, 2008, poker machine gamers in Victoria have lost a total of $1.35 billion in just six months. The growing losses put punters on the right direction to surpass the all time record of $2.56 billion, posted before the start of the smoking ban in 2002.
State records shows the 6 months losses posted by Tatts and Tabcorp since the month of July are $54.7 million more than the previous year. The grand total does not include the poker earnings of Crown Casino. The largest losers came from Monash where $66 million was lost from places like Chadstone, Burwood, Clayton and Mulgrave.
Brimbank, which includes Keilor, St. Albans and Sunshine, was the second largest gaming spenders with a total of $65 million. Bettor in Casey and Dandenong lost $60 million and Geelong lost a total of $59 million. The Commission for Gaming Regulation in Victoria shows that about $235 million were lost by players during the month of August.
The gaming spokesperson of the state opposition Michael O'Brien commented that it was very clear that the poker industry had substantially recovered from the poker ban. O'Brien added that fifty-two out of the sixty-two council had larger losses in the span of six months including nineteen areas where the state government's regional caps policy had been currently enforced.
Poker losses during the period of 2006-2007 grow to about $2.543 billion or about $7 million daily and came from low income areas. But based on the total figures for the past six months, the 2007-2008 result is predicted to hit the $2.7 billion mark, the biggest result in Victorian History. The yearly tax earnings of the state government have now hit $1.55 billion, mostly composed of poker revenues.