How pokies love affair’s costing us $4426 a minute
QUEENSLANDERS' love affair with poker machines is at an all-time high with punters losing $4426 a minute in clubs and hotels this year.
The Courier-Mail can reveal punters put $962m through pokies in the state's clubs in the five months to May, a 30 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2009.
Punters fed a staggering $2.4 billion into more than 44,000 poker machines throughout the state in 2018, up 19 per cent from a decade ago. It was the biggest year of loses in Queensland since records began in 2004.
Associate Professor of Psychology at Central Queensland University, Matthew Browne, said "near misses" and "losses disguised as wins" spurred on the addiction.
"In analysis, we have found that more than 50 per cent of gambling revenue comes from people with a gambling problem," he said.
"The idea that you can win your money back makes people chase their losses but there are a number of cognitive issues and illusions of control that makes them believe they can change the game."
Mr Browne said the record-breaking 12 months of losses was a win for the State Government, which reaped up to 35 per cent of each machine's metered win in taxes.
Brisbane punters alone blew $215 million year, with Brisbane's southern suburbs taking home the top prize of the biggest loser, wagering $70 million.
Head of Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory at Central Queensland University, Professor Matthew Rockloff, said studies had confirmed over the last 20 years less people were gambling, but the minority who did were raising the stakes.
Frontline service UnitingCare QLD provides emergency and ongoing support people with a gambling addiction.
General manager Samantha Klintworth said gambling addiction often started with a personal trauma such as a health issue, relationship breakdown or employment struggle. It was similar to drug and alcohol addiction.