National News

NSW pokies profits jump during COVID

Pubs and clubs in NSW earned more money from poker machines in the second half of 2020 than they did before the pandemic struck, despite the number of machines falling by more than 2000 statewide.

Total net profits were up by by 8.79 per cent compared with the same period in 2019, with pubs' pokies profits jumping 10.93 per cent and clubs' by 7.29 per cent.

That is according to new data published by Liquor & Gaming NSW.

The number of pokies in the state dropped by 2374.

Residents of Sydney's west were the biggest losers, with Fairfield clubs earning the most from pokies between June and November 2020 - more than $197 million. Canterbury-Bankstown was a close second with in excess of $186 million.

Sydney's pubs raked in the most, earning $138 million from poker machines between July and December 2020. Canterbury-Bankstown and Fairfield were the next highest earners, with $133 million and $91 million in profits respectively.

Statewide, gamblers lost the most at Bankstown Sports Club and Homebush West's Markets Hotel.

The local government area of Sydney has by far the highest number of poker machines in pubs - 3135. The second highest concentration is in Canterbury-Bankstown, which has 913.

With 4097 pokies in clubs, Canterbury-Bankstown has more club machines than any other local government area. The Central Coast, with 3810, comes second.

Figures from the first half of the year were "significantly impacted" by pandemic-induced restrictions on gaming venues, Liquor & Gaming NSW said.

Venues were closed for 10 weeks from March 23 to May 31.

© AAP 2021