No shrimps on barbie are these gambling Aussies

Jul 23, 2002 4:37 AM

Gambling has grown over 25 percent over three years in Australia, according to a report in the New South Wales News.

Figures released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics last week showed that the greatest growth came from poker machines, whose takings rose by 39 percent nationally over three years to $8.7 billion.

New South Wales accounted for just over 41 percent of all earnings from gaming, totaling $5.7 billion a year.

Australia’s 185,000 poker machines remained some of the most lucrative pieces of equipment in the nation, bringing in an average of $47,200 per year. Some 60 percent were installed in clubs and returned an average of $37,800. The 30 percent in pubs and bars returned $58,900 a year.

The haul from all legal gambling nationally reached $13.8 billion in the 12 months to the end of June last year.

Israel must wait

An Oasis-style casino scheduled to arrive in Israel has been postponed to an undetermined date due to the Palestinian uprising.

Austrian businessman Martin Schiaf had planned to have his gambling ship set up in Eilat. The ship, operated in Jericho, attracted 3,000 Israelis on a daily basis who spent close to $250 million annually.

According to the Israeli publication Ha’aretz, the ship was converted for use as a floating casino. However, serious acoustic problems in the gambling halls were discovered.

Ultra-Orthodox opposition to anchoring the ship in Eliat has been increasing. The ship would contain dozens of betting tables and slot machines. The floating ship would be anchored at a regular spot at sea, partially in Israeli territorial waters. Gamblers will not be required to present a passport to board.