Australia Among Top 10 World Gambling Centres

Published January 19, 2010

Australia Among Top 10 World Gambling Centres

One poker machine for every 110 people, according to new study.

It's official - Australia is one of the world's 10 biggest nations for gambling, with one poker machine for every 110 people living in the country, according to a report in The Age newspaper.

The figures, produced by makers of gaming machines, also show that Australia has the ninth-highest number of gaming machines overall - 186,344 - a figure smaller than that in Britain but far higher if measured on a per capita basis.

The tiny European principality of Monaco topped the list, with one poker machine for every 16 people, while Japan and the Netherlands also featured on the list. Britain and New Zealand were found to have one machine for approximately every 300 people.

The report comes at a time when the very future of poker machines is under intense scrutiny.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has made clear his opposition to pokies, but the states and territories will not give in easily on any bid to reduce their numbers.

A final report on the state of gambling in Australia is set to be handed to the federal government in February by the Productivity Commission, with federal and state ministers due to meet two months later to discuss the matter.

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