More poker machines in Gladstone will contribute to problem gambling, an academic says.
More poker machines in Gladstone will contribute to problem gambling, an academic says. Karleila Thomsen FRA300412pokies

Nothing to do in Gladstone, so people head to the pokies

GLADSTONE gamers are more likely to develop a gambling problem in venues with more poker machines, according to a central Queensland academic.

CQUniversity associate professor Matthew Rockloff also said the town's cashed-up workforce and limited social calendar factored into problem gambling in the area.

"We can assume in places like Gladstone that people have a high level of disposable income," Mr Rockloff said.

"Plus Gladstone doesn't have a lot of other entertainment options in town."

The claim comes as Gladstone welcomed 29 new electronic gaming machines to the area in August, the highest number of machines received this year.

Last month the Reef Hotel launched its new gaming floor, which includes 40 machines.

Yaralla Sports Club has a total of 108 gaming machines.

But Yaralla Gladstone chief operation officer Liz Carruthers said the venue, like other venues in town, offered support for problem gamblers.

Since 2011 Yaralla has used the Sim Play Program to limit the daily spending of gamblers.

The system allows gamers to upload any dollar figure to a card to use at a machine once a day.

In the past 12 months Gladstonites fed more than $41 million to gaming machines.

Gamblers' help:

  • Helpline: 1800 858 858.
  • Gambling Help Qld offers free counselling services.
  • People can self-exclude themselves by asking a venue to ban them.
  • Venues can exclude people from venues on their own undertaking.

How often do you use poker machines?

This poll ended on 25 October 2013.

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