Amid the approaching holiday season, the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia is experiencing growing apprehension regarding the AUD 15 million ($10.1 million) increase in gambling-related losses incurred by its residents compared to the previous year. To mitigate this concerning circumstance, the federal government is obligated to implement additional safeguards for the benefit of players and raise additional awareness regarding responsible wagering.
As per the data released by the NT’s Department of Industry, Tourism, and Trade, it speaks of an enormous day-to-day average of $277,000 going into poker slots in the territory. Approximately 50% of these losses occurred in Darwin, where 31 venues house 722 pokies. In 2022–23, a total of $100.42 million was invested in poker slots, the proceeds of which were utilized to purchase a 15 million AUD increase.
In spite of the frightening factor, the prime poker slots added to the NT government’s offers amount of $32.62 million in terms of revenue collection. This was from gaming slot taxes and a further $10.18 million via a community benefit levy accrued by casinos and hotels.
According to the latest gambling news, Welfare groups are concerned about government data indicating a spike in December and a decrease in January in machine losses for the third year in a row. According to researchers, financial restrictions and individuals’ relaxed moods during the holiday season can produce more harm and an unrestrained addiction scenario.
Though gambling-related losses are a massive cause of concern in the NT, they are far below areas such as New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland, where the losses amount to billions. As per a senior lecturer in psychology at Charles Darwin University (CDU), Kim Caudwell, it is an extremely uphill task for the government to control the gambling space in the region.
New South Wales is making tremendous efforts to address the issue of gambling. The answer could be the soon-to-be-implemented cashless gambling experiment. This will eventually lead the others involved to follow the example.
In the case of NT, it is also doing its best, but the results do not appear to be promising. According to stakeholders, the absolute need of the hour is to reconsider everything related to gambling and try to reduce its harmful effects.