REVEALED: Millions spent on pokies at local pubs, clubs
NORTHERN Rivers hotels and clubs have raked in a whopping $46 million in profits from gaming machines in just six months, $1 million more than they did in 2017.
Recent Liquor and Gaming NSW data revealed clubs and hotels in the Lismore, Byron, Ballina, Kyogle, Richmond Valley and Clarence Valley LGAs have made a combined net profit of $46,252,789.75 from 2235 pokie machines at 120 venues. The latest reports cover June 1, 2018 to November 30, 2018 for clubs and July 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 for hotels in the region.
But Northern Rivers punters are spending more money compared to the same time period in 2017, when they forked out $1.7 million less than they did in 2018.
Ballina LGA made the most money in its clubs, with the 410 machines in seven venues collecting $9,183,656.60 in net profit.
Lismore clubs made $5,988,670.88 in net profit over 307 machines in 11 venues, while in Richmond Valley 262 machines pulled in $4,878,038.33 in profit.
Meanwhile, the highest net profit for hotels was made in the Clarence Valley and Tenterfield region, with the 257 machines across 29 premises making $5,067,173.33.
Punters at Ballina hotels also coughed up the second highest amount of money, with nine Ballina hotels making $4,614,909.17 through 154 gaming machines.
Lismore hotels came in third place, making $3,790,464.45 on 149 machines at 11 premises.
The reports are released every six months as part of the NSW Government's commitment to boost transparency on gambling activity in local communities.
Across the state, the data also showed compared to the previous six-month period met profit rose by 4.1 per cent for clubs and 13.4 per cent for hotels.
However, when compared to the same six-month period in 2017 the net profit increased by 0.5 per cent for clubs and 6.4 per cent for hotels.
A Liquor and Gaming NSW spokesman said due to seasonal factors, gaming machine profits are historically higher in the second half of each calendar year.
Of the total $46 million in profits across the five LGAs, the clubs and hotels were made to pay a little over $8 million to the State Government in taxes.
Ballina RSL and Lismore Worker's Club have been approached for comment.