Harm from poker machines in Tasmania is increasing
In 2022-2023, Tasmanians lost $189.6 million gambling on poker machines, which was $11.5 million (6.4%) more than they lost the previous year. Gambling harm from poker machines is also increasing. In 2022-23, the number of people who contacted Gamblers Help increased by 33%. Four in five people who actively engaged with Gamblers Help and nominated a primary gambling activity mainly used poker machines. Our current approach to reducing gambling harm is not working.
Poker machines are concentrated in disadvantaged communities
In June 2023, there were 3317 poker machines in 95 venues across Tasmania. However poker machines are concentrated in disadvantaged communities where per capita losses are also the highest.
The West Coast, the most socioeconomically disadvantaged Local Government Area (LGA), has 141 poker machines per 10,000 people and average annual losses of $427 per capita. In contrast Hobart, the most socioeconomically advantaged LGA, has only 24 poker machines per 10,000 people and average annual losses of $64 per capita.
When people gamble more than they can afford, it harms everyone
Poker machines account for most gambling harm in Tasmania. The harm is so significant that it impacts everyone in the community, even though you may not be aware of it.
The financial harms from gambling affect all Tasmanians. When a person using a poker machine gambles money they don’t have, the money has to come from somewhere. The diagram below shows how everyone pays.
The poker machine card is targeted at preventing people gambling more than they can afford.
Download the report ‘The poker machine card. Simple as.’ at the bottom of this page for full details on the harms currently being experienced in the Tasmanian community from poker machine gambling.