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HIGH unemployment and low income suburbs have become the favoured areas to locate Victoria’s high-density pokie venues.

Victorian Local Government Association research has found a 258 per cent increase in the level of household spending on gambling since the introduction of poker machines.

Research also found pokie players earning $200 a week spend an average 250 times more, as a proportion of income, compared with players earning $1200 a week.

The imbalance on gambling affordability and taxing the poor has been labelled the “reverse Robin Hood effect”.

In its draft report, the Productivity Commission said: “Victoria’s gaming machine densities are higher in socially and/or economically disadvantaged areas.

“In communities that already suffer from significant socio-economic disadvantage, overlaying an additional source of socio-economic stress may have significant community-wide impacts.

“In the commission’s view, the potential for disadvantaged communities to suffer more adverse social problems from expansions in gambling has important implications for government policy.”

In regional Victoria the problem is magnified.

Victoria University senior researcher James Doughney said Bass Coast, La Trobe and East Gippsland, three of the most disadvantaged rural areas as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, have the highest number of poker machines per capita.

Bass Coast and La Trobe also have the highest losses a head in regional areas.

Other regions with higher than average losses include Online Casino Malaysia East Gippsland, Mildura, Greater Shepparton, Greater Geelong, Ballarat, Greater Bendigo and Warrnambool.

MGM Group Interested in Taiwan’s Tapeng Bay Development Plan

MGM Group Interested in Taiwan’s Tapeng Bay Development Plan

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 14 Asia Pulse – The Las Vegas-based MGM Group is interested in a development plan for Tapeng Bay in the southern Taiwan county of Pingtung, Taiwan Transportation and Communications Minister Yeh Chu-lan said here Sunday.

Yeh, who is visiting the United States to attract foreign investment for Taiwan’s tourist market, said the MGM Group has decided to dispatch officials in late September or early October to assess the Tapeng Bay recreational center project, despite the fact that she has set a precondition that no gambling facilities will be allowed in the compound.

The MGM Group enjoys a leadership role in the local casino business in Las Vegas after having taken over the management of the classy Bellagio and Mirage casino hotels. It is understood that the group sent personnel to Penghu Island last year to study the possibility of creating a gambling center there.

Accompanied by Taiwan officials stationed in San Francisco, Yeh also called at several casino hotels and tourist spots in Las Vegas to study how the city has succeeded in building such a big tourist empire in the sands of the Nevada desert. She was slated to pay a visit to the head of the Nevada tourist office and explain the Tapeng development project to the local tourism authorities Monday.

Traveling at the head of a delegation, Yeh arrived Friday in Las Vegas at the start of a 12-day tour to sell Taiwan’s tourism market. She will also fly to Hawaii and Japan.