The Australian Football League is in hot water this week after statistics on Victorian gambling were released. This data revealed that at least nine clubs owned and operated pokies in the state. They received nearly AU$97.5 million from the machines after losses reached a new high in the state. Overall losses have been pegged at roughly AU$2.7 billion for 2018 so far.
According to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR), poorer communities were affected the most. The nine clubs from the Australian Football League increased pokie profits by 4% collectively. However, there is a worrying statistic that hasn’t been mentioned in these reports.
Australian Football League Players at Risk
David Schwarz, who played in the league for twelve years, claims that 20 to 30% of Australian Football League players suffered from gambling addiction. Schwarz went bankrupt in 2002, so this figure has likely risen.
Schwarz has also claimed that most players suffer from an addiction to gambling more than anything else. He claims that there are ‘three or four times more problem gamblers in sports’. While this hasn’t been confirmed, it has made many insiders question player safety. These insiders also claim that the gambling industry is to blame for bringing an ‘unspoken crisis’ to the league.
Some of the clubs who profited from gambling proceeds include:
- Hawthorn Football Club – AU$24.3 million
- Carlton Football Club – AU$18.4 million
- Collingwood Football Club – AU13.2 million
Profiting from Pokies
Still, the biggest profits have been reported by ALH Group, and their majority stakeholder, Woolworths. The VCGLR claims that their gaming machines earned the most this far. Woolworths has come under fire this year for claims that they had encouraged addicts to gamble. These claims are currently being investigated.
Unfortunately, many communities in Australia depend on taxes from the gambling industry. These revenues are used to maintain public infrastructure and services, among others. So, there’s no way to predict where this will go. Keep visiting Pokies.com to find out!