Townsville's $200,000-a-day pokie habit worries Centacare

Women now make up 50 per cent of problem gamblers while young men aged between 25 and 34 are emerging as a high risk group for gambling, the head of Townsville's Centacare says, commenting on the latest Queensland gambling statistics for the twin cities of Townsville and Thuringowa.

The Townsville Bulletin quotes Queensland Office of Gaming Regulation statistics that show that twin cities gamblers are pumping $196,098 through local poker machines every day.

The statistics show that local poker machines each collected a massive $71,575,808 in the 12 months to July after winnings were paid out.

Townsville's Centacare Director Barry Sheehan (pictured) said gambling was on the increase in the twin cities.

"Gambling does appear to be on the increase," Catholic Centacare director, Barry Sheehan told the Bulletin.

Centacare was trying to contain and address twin cities gambling issues by implementing various early intervention measures.

"It gets to the stage where a large number of (problem gamblers) have had their relationships break down, and they are in enormous debt," he said.

Pokie fever rages (Townsville Bulletin, 17/8/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Queensland Office of Gaming Regulation
Centacare, Townsville

Blacklist for blackjack, warns Canadian bishop (CathNews, 26/6/06)
Report says problem gamblers one third of market (CathNews, 2/7/04)
Problem gamblers stretch Vinnies counselling resources (CathNews, 19/7/02)

17 Aug 2006