Victorians gambled away A$5.8 billion ($4.09 billion) during the past financial year while the state government received A$1.6 billion in taxes from gaming venues, new figures show, the Australian Associated Press reports.
Almost half of the billion-dollar losses happened on poker machines in Victorian hotels and clubs, with gamblers losing another A$1.9 billion on machines and table games at Melbourne's Crown Casino.
Almost two thirds of all hotel gaming machines had an average of more than $12,500 in player losses per machine, according to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation's latest annual report.
In October more than 40 organisations - including GetUp and the Australian Christian Lobby - launched the National Alliance for Gambling Reform aimed at reducing the harm caused by gaming machines.
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers are also preparing legal action targeting casinos, machine designers and pubs and clubs over poker machines opponents say are designed to get people addicted.
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