Poker machines.

Canberra's clubs earned about $102 million after costs from poker machine gambling in the past financial year. Photo: Louie Douvis

Canberra's gamblers lost a record $181 million on poker machines in the past financial year, according to the Gambling and Racing Commission.

The figure is up slightly on the previous year's losses of $179 million and equates to about $490 for every man, woman and child in the territory.

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The clubs and pubs were left with about $102 million after they paid their gambling taxes and deducted an agreed figure of 24 per cent for the cost of operating their machines.

The community contributions from the territory's 65 clubs, pubs and taverns were also up on the previous year with nearly $13 million in pokies money going to causes in 2011-12.

The industry remains dominated by a small number of groups with six organisations accounting for $140 million of the losses. The Southern Cross Group reaped $28.5 million from its 680 machines in five locations around the city.

The Canberra Labor Group was not far behind with gross gaming revenue of $27.2 million from its 488 machines, while the Vikings Group had about $26.5 million in winnings. The Canberra Raiders took about $24.5 million from their 600 machines across six sites.

The Gambling and Racing Commission's report also noted that the bulk of the community contributions, $7.8 million, had gone to sports and recreational causes.

''The level of contributions to the sport and recreation category consistently and significantly outweighs the combined totals of the other categories,'' the commission wrote.

It said expenditure on the support and development of sporting activities ''can be claimed as a community contribution.''

The industry also paid $1.2 million to help problem gamblers.