Hawke's Bay gamblers are losing more than $100,000 per day to pokie machines, surpassing an unwanted milestone in the process.
Latest Class 4 Gaming Machine Proceeds data from the Department of Internal Affairs shows the region's pokie machine operators collected $10.45m for the three months to December, 2017.
Te Rangihaeata Oranga Trust/Hawke's Bay Gambling Services general manager Alister Mains said it was disappointing to see a rise in lost money.
"We always used the see the figure of $9m for three months but now it's over $10m. It's a little bit disappointing for us that new venues are being granted licences for a greater number of machines."
Mr Mains said there were two incidents in Hastings district last year, with a new venue created in Havelock North, where there had previously been no machines.
The other included a Hastings venue being granted license to increase the number of machines on-site.
"I find that a bit difficult to understand given the state of gambling in this region already."
The latest DIA figures showed Hastings Central had most losses, with $3.6m lost across 214 machines. Napier City/Marewa also had high losses - $2.1m across 90 machines in three months.
Across the whole region, Tararua pokie operators raked in $947,000, with those in Wairoa claiming another $616,000, with Hastings ($4.4m) and Napier ($4.5m) accounting for the rest.
DIA's data records the amount of money (minus winnings) collected by operators. It does not record the amount of money gambled in total.
Mr Mains said the latest quarterly figures brought the total for the year to well over the average total.
"It's always been about $36m, but based on these new statistics this year it's probably about $40m, which is a lot for any population."
Region-wide, that worked out at the equivalent of $370 per person, per year.
"The argument has always been if I'm not losing my $370 and you're not losing yours, then someone, somewhere, is losing a hell of a lot."
Although there was one additional Class 4 venue approved in the Hastings district last year, there were 13 fewer individual pokie machines (274).
Napier City Council also saw a reduction in machines, which fell from 295 to 290. Approved venues also fell by one to 18.
A council spokeswoman pointed out that Napier City Councillors decided in August to cap gaming machines in Napier to a maximum of 320 machines across (a maximum of) 20 venues.
If anyone was concerned about their gambling or anyone else, they can contact Te Rangihaeata Hawke's Bay Gambling Service, on 867 6267, in confidence.