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Western Sydney Pokies Rake In $8 Billion

A western Sydney council has called for a freeze on poker machines to reduce gambling-related harm after its residents spent more than $8 billion on the pokies in one year.

Fairfield Council proposes a cap on pokie machine numbers in communities with similar levels of gambling and high machine density after $8.27 billion was reportedly gambled in the council area during 2015-16 out of a total $80 billion put through machines in NSW.

The cap would help reduce the risk of gambling-related harm to vulnerable communities, the council says.

The submission, obtained by Fairfax Media says "No public good can be achieved within communities with high levels of gambling, such as Fairfield, for any further development of the gaming industry or any additional increases in gaming revenue," 

The Alliance for Gambling Reform says Fairfield is an example that regional caps in the most poker machine "saturated areas" is needed.

NSW spokeswoman, Allison Keogh said "We don't push addictive cigarettes to get revenue, so both sides of NSW politics need to break their addiction to pokies revenue and escape the capture of the pokies industry with its dangerous products and influence-pedalling which results in state-sponsored citizen abuse," she said.

AAP/SMH

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