More than $23M spent on game machines on Coast this year
NEW data has revealed Fraser Coast residents continue to pour millions of dollars into pokies each year.
The latest Electronic Gaming Machine statistics were released by the Queensland Government this week which showed $23,897,574.80 has been lost on the Fraser Coast's 1,300 poker machines since January.
In May alone, $4,878,477.81 was lost.
Fraser Coast mayor George Seymour said the losses in the community were staggering and believed there should be stronger consumer protection laws to protect the public.
"These machines are designed to be addictive, they are harmful and serve no useful purpose," he said.
"I believe if we are to have pokie machines there should be plain packaging - take away the bells and whistles and have clear information about how bad the odds of winning are.
"These machines wreck people's lives."
There are multiple venues across the region which offer gambling facilities but many, including Hervey Bay RSL, also offer support services.
Hervey Bay RSL general manager Jason Lynch said over the past eight years, the RSL has donated close to $5million to community organisations in Hervey Bay.
He said as a community club, they provided help to anyone who needed it.
"If people need assistance we're there for them and direct them to the right level of support they need," he said.
"We're a community pub and have 26,000 members and helping our patrons is what we do."
If you or anyone you know needs help, you can contact Gamblers Anonymous Australia 0467655799 or Lifeline on 131144.
2018 STATISTICSMay: $4,878,477.81 April: $4,752,555.89 March: $4,981,891.41 February: $4,245,454.39 January: $5,039,195.34