New data shows while the number of poker machines across the state has decreased over the last six months net profits have continued to rise.
The newly-released state government data shows in the second half of last year, over $12million net profit was made in the Bega Valley's clubs and hotels from the machines. The data covers from June 1 to November 30 last year for clubs and July 1 to December 31 for hotels.
Local figures mirror the almost $12.5million put through the machines in the first half of last year, and equate to around $500 for every Bega Valley resident aged 20 and over every six months. In total, almost $25million was made from the machines last year in the region.
According to the Department of Industry, residents put $10.4million through 575 machines at 12 club premises across the Bega Valley, with $1.3million in tax collected by the government. In addition, $1.8million was put through 90 machines at 11 hotels in the region, with $353,931 in tax collected by the government.
While the amount does not accurately show player losses due to some larger jackpots being "pooled" when machines are linked across multiple venues and local government areas, NSW Liquor and Gaming says the amount "is the closest indicator of how much communities have lost on gaming machines".
The department said while statewide data shows the number of machines in operation and venues is decreasing, net profits have still risen by 4.1 per cent for clubs and 13.4 per cent for hotels over the last six months.
This comes at a time when Australia's biggest poker machine stakeholder, Woolworths, is reportedly facing increasing pressure from investors to back away from the industry.
NSW was the first state to legalise the machines in 1956, and anti-gambling advocates have been calling on the state government to introduce a cap on the machines.
Alliance for Gambling Reform director and spokesman Tim Costello said data showing almost $7billion was lost in machines across NSW last year means strong government regulation is needed.
"The NSW Government should not be standing idly by as $779,000 an hour was lost on 93,165 pokies across NSW in 2018," he said.
"This is a social disaster needing urgent action."
Mr Costello said the fact net profits are on the rise, and sit at world record levels, means last year's legislative changes have failed to protect the community from financial loss.
In a statement, the alliance called NSW "the gambling capital of the world in terms of per capita losses".
Mr Costello said the government should consider enforcing $1 maximum bets, reducing trading hours and banning loyalty programs.
"The NSW Coalition should never have signed another Memorandum of Understanding with Clubs NSW which will lock in almost $30 billion in pokies losses over the life of this Parliament unless decisive and long overdue action is taken," he said.
Greens MP turned Independent Justin Field said last year's reforms saw machines move from lower profit regional areas to higher profit metropolitan venues, driving up total losses.
"NSW already has the highest density of poker machines in the world and the highest gambling losses per person outside Las Vegas," he said.
"Poker machine harm in NSW continues to get worse, not better, and that's shameful."
While Western Sydney dominates the profit per machine data, both Merimbula clubs sit highest of local clubs on the latest NSW Liquor and Gaming rankings.
Merimbula had the highest ranking in terms of statewide profits in the region for clubs, but the town also has the highest number of machines.
Bega sits next to Broken Hill on the list, with both hosting a similar number of machines.
Clubs in Tura Beach, Tathra and Bermagui sit close together in the list, with all three clubs hosting a similar number of machines each.
One hotel in Bega sits between Terrigal's Florida Beach Bar and Bondi's Royal Hotel, despite having around half the number of machines, while Cobargo, Narooma and Bermagui rank close to the towns of Mudgee, and Gunnedah.
Mr Costello said NSW Liquor and Gaming data should mirror that of Victoria and include venue losses rather than ranking pubs and clubs on a list.
"The NRL doesn't reveal a league ladder without showing the specific wins and losses incurred by clubs and the same should apply with the 2514 pubs and clubs which have pokies in NSW," he said.