REVEALED: How much we're putting through the pokies
BE IT the flashing lights, the exciting "ka-ching" or the thrill of the chase, Sunshine Coast gamblers are spending more through pokie machines than ever.
New figures show about $6 million more was sunk into Coast slot machines in 2017 than was in 2015.
Annual gaming figures released by the State Government showed within the Sunshine Coast Council area, people spent $148.4m in 2017 compared to $145.2m in 2016 and $142.3m in 2015.
In August 2017, a grand total of $13,606,362 was put through on the Coast.
Sunshine Coast statistics:
- 2015: $142,338,476
- 2016: $145,235,492
- 2017: $148,428,815
Clubs Queensland CEO Doug Flockhart said the increase was the result of the Sunshine Coast's growing tourism industry.
"2015 largely wasn't a popular year for tourism, whereas, tourism has done well right across the Coast since then," he said.
"There's been a significant uplift in 2017. We've seen strong growth in pub's gambling revenue but clubs have been fairly flat."
UnitedCare Queensland financial resilience and wellbeing counsellor Jodie Logovik said problem gambling did not discriminate.
"It can affect anyone and 'once in a while' gambling can quickly and easily spiral into a bigger issue," Ms Logovik said.
"Excessive gambling may cause immediate and long term issues for the gambler, affecting their partners, families and community.
"It is important to keep gambling under control. There are a number of techniques and strategies people with gambling problems can try."
Ms Logovik suggested measures such as leaving cash or cards at home to prevent over-spending and keeping a diary of wins and losses. If gambling did become a problem it was important to speak to someone about it.
The Lifeline helpline, 13 11 14 can help people with gambling problems and people suffering from someone else's addiction.