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Gambling is a significant public health issue, with around 80,000 to 160,000 (or 0.5 - 1.0%) of Australian adults experiencing significant problems from gambling and a further 250,000 to 350,000 (or 1.4 - 2.1% of adults) experiencing moderate risks that may make them vulnerable to problem gambling.

In 2015-16, gambling revenue made up 7.7% of state and territory taxation revenue.

The rate was lowest in Western Australia (2.5%) and highest in the Northern Territory (12.0%).

Gambling revenue made up 2.5% of total state revenue when other revenue sources were taken into account.

The rate was lowest in WA (0.9%) and highest in Victoria (3.2%).

Gambling revenue as a portion of state taxation revenue has fallen for all states and territories between 2006–-16.

New South Wales has a long history of gambling; Australia's first official horse racing meeting occurred in 1810 at Hyde Park in Sydney; the first official Australian lottery occurred in 1881 at the Sydney Cup; and registered clubs operated the first legal poker machines in Australia from 1956.

According to the latest figures from Liquor and Gaming NSW there are 4,046 poker machines in 39 clubs on the Central Coast, and 626 poker machines in 29 hotels; making a total of 4,672 poker machines on the Central Coast.

That means 2.37% of the total number of poker machines in Australia are on the NSW Central Coast.

Gosford has approximately 1928 pokies, spread across 37 venues.

That is the equivalent of one poker machine for every 71 adults.

In 2010-11, venues in Gosford made approximately $95,865,000 in profit from pokies.