Australia’s addiction to ‘pokies’

By far the biggest problem is slot machines, of which there are more than 200,000 across Australia.

“Pokies are the biggest revenue generator,” says Dr Gainsbury. “Around two-thirds of all gambling losses are through the pokies and in Australia that amounts to around A$9.8bn a year.”
It is incredibly easy to gamble in Australia. There are pokies in just about every pub or bar.

Many pubs contain betting shops, where punters are able to gamble and drink at the same time, and there’s nearly always a handily placed cash machine near by, often even in the pub itself.
“My partner used to say it was like I was hypnotised,” says Laura.