Record pokie spending

GAMBLERS in the Fraser Coast have splurged record amounts on gaming machines on the way to notching up their largest quarterly total since figures were made available online in 2009.

From May to August, pokie players in the region poured more than $17.5 million into devices locally - equating to more than $1.60 a second or $143,545 each day - meaning about $30 has been spent since you started reading this article.

Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation figures show a spike in pokie takings about the time tax returns are funded to bank accounts every year.

Uniting Care community educator Rick Whittle agreed there was a trend and said research revealed this period of the year was consistently the most prolific for spending on gaming machines.

"We've dissected it over the years and tend to find that August is the big time and that could be attributed to tax rebates, also with the farmers getting their returns," Mr Whittle said.

"We've been trying to mull it over for many years and so too have the major governing bodies in gambling and no one has a definitive answer in relation to that one."

Mr Whittle also admitted that based on recent figures, it could be assumed that anti pokie marketing was failing to change gambling habits.

He said the Wide Bay region was known to house a high number of Queensland's gaming machines in relation to its population and this was a reflection of local spending behaviour.