Every Australian over 17 loses an average of $1300 a year on gambling -- that’s about $22 billion for the whole country each year. As the fight over independent Andrew Wilkie's pokies legislation hots up, over the next fortnight Crikey's new series Last Bets will examine just how hooked our country is on having a flutter.

We're not talking about the average problem gambler's addiction here, instead, we'll dig into our state governments' reliance on revenue, the future of gambling online, its grip on sport, the burgeoning casino tourism industry and the role of pokies venues in local communities for starters.