Otago pokie spend rises

Southern gamblers have pumped almost $50 million into pokies over the past year - the equivalent of $160 for every man, woman and child living in Otago and Southland.

Figures from the Department of Internal Affairs show non-casino pokie spend in the South was $48.6 million for the year ending September 2012.

Dunedin punters led the way, gambling $18.5 million over the same period.

Otago territorial authorities all recorded an increase in pokie spend for the quarter ending September 2012.

Dunedin again recorded the largest increase with $134,653, followed by Clutha ($53,976), Queenstown-Lakes ($24,939) and Central Otago ($3716).

All Southland territorial authorities recorded a decline over the same quarter, led by Invercargill (-$335,418), Gore (-$55,000) and Southland (-$6480).

Nationwide, $844 million was gambled on the country's 17,827 non-casino poker machines for the year ending September.

Pokie spending
Central Otago ... $3,473,597
Clutha district ... $2,065,880
Dunedin city ... $18,540,625
Gore ... $3,024,938
Invercargill ... $15,495,402
Queenstown-Lakes ... $2,712,341
Southland ... $3,326,846
Total ... $48,639,629

Source: Internal Affairs

- hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

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