Welcome to the brand new Alliance for Gambling Reform monthly newsletter for supporter organisations! There’s a lot going on and with 64 supporting organisations like yours, we’ll be trialling a short, monthly newsletter to keep everyone informed.
Earlier this year, we produced a short video explaining how poker machines are designed to cause addiction. It was hugely popular on social media, and so we also produced it as a TV commercial which got additional media coverage.
If you haven't already, share it through your email groups, social media and on your website.
On the 7th May, we launched our ‘con-free footy’ campaign at the MCG with volunteers, Tim Costello and two life size poker machine ‘mascots’. The event was covered on Channel 9 news and in the Herald Sun.
This campaign is aimed at working with AFL fans, media, and team management to move 2-3 AFL clubs into a leadership position, supporting reform of the whole poker machine industry and a ban on sportsbetting advertising. Before the launch event, we secured some great media on the AFL’s poker machine problem, and there’s been several high level meetings as well. The AFL forms part of Australia’s identify and a shift in even some of their clubs will help shift the debate nationally.
We have another MCG event planned for this Saturday 4th June, so please come along and promote the event through your networks. We’ll be repeating these events several times, to engage AFL fans, sign them up to the campaign, and then start organising them to pressure their team for leadership.
Opportunities for your organisation range from promoting the campaign on social media through to organising an AFL match event in your city. We can support you to engage your stakeholders in the campaign. Contact Susan Rennie for more info.
As you may know, we’ve been working with Maurice Blackburn Lawyers to prepare a legal challenge against a key manufacturer of poker machines. We’ll be arguing that there are a number of ways in which the design of poker machines is in breach of Australian consumer law because they are misleading and deceptive.
We’re pleased to say that the brief for the Barrister has been finalised, and a very prominent and well regarded Barrister is very interested in the case. The next few steps involve preparing the statement of claim that we can take to the High Court.
On timing, we’re keen to file the case as soon as possible, but the reality is there’s a number of aspects that are hard to gauge how long they’ll take. July / August is the indicative timeline and we’ll keep you posted.
Opportunities for your organisation will centre around spreading the word about the litigation as it’s launched through your newsletters, email lists and social media. The litigation is an excellent opportunity to refocus the debate on the machine itself. Contact Tony Mohr for more info.
We’ve identified payments by the gambling industry to politicians as a major hurdle to legislative reform. We’ve commissioned research by Dr Charles Livingstone at Monash University to dig deep into the records of these ‘donations’ to shine a light on how closely these are linked to reform efforts.
Depending on the media cycle, we expect this research to be made public in the fortnight starting 6th June and have had considerable media interest. We’ll be launching a national campaign off the back of this, asking supporters and volunteers to ask their local federal election candidates if they’ll support laws that stop the gambling industry paying political parties and candidates.
Opportunities for your organisation include promoting the research through your communication channels, through to including this topic in any candidate forums you may be involved in. Contact Tony Mohr for more info
There have been 19 community screenings of Ka-ching! Pokie Nation to date. In May, the Unitarian Church in SA, Brimbank City Council, Geelong City Council andthe Gambling Impact Society NSW all held successful community screenings that engaged their members and stakeholders.
Opportunities for your organisation are to hold a community screening for your organisation, team up with some of your stakeholder or member groups or to integrate the film into your organisation’s core work. Check the website for more details
Becoming a financial member organisation
We’ve been very fortunate to have crucial, early, financial support from the Reichstein Foundation and some private philanthropists but that won’t cover all of next year's operating costs. We’ve been working with Victorian councils to develop proposals for becoming financial members.
Current supporter organisations will continue - this is an opportunity to build on the work your organisation has already done and to help keep the momentum up. If you have a little money unspent this financial year, or are finalising budgets for next financial year, please contact Geoff Lake for more information.
In the News
Huge thanks to our Director of Communications and Strategy, Rohan Wenn, and our supporter organisations for the great media coverage we’ve been getting:
The Madness of ‘Mad Bookies’ as they offer a 25% cut from betting losses to footy clubs, with blunt reaction from Tim Costello in the Age - 27 May
Some excellent investigative work by the Age into political donations, including from big gambling - 22 May
Tim Costello speaks out on the ‘blatant hypocrisy’ in the AFL over sports betting and pokies in the Herald Sun - 21 May
The Gambling Impact Society NSW leveraged some great local media off their community screening of Ka-Ching! - Advertiser Lake Times - 18 May
Alliance Supporter organisations Uniting Communities and Pokies Anonymous made the South Australian Channel 10 news on the latest research results - 17 May
Dr Charles Livingstone talks through his research that showed 94% of Victorian applications for more pokies are rubbed stamped - Bayside News - 16 May
Our friends in Anglicare Tasmania as their pokies review gets underway with gusto on ABC Nationwide - 14 May
Dr Charles Livingstone explains the con-job in the machine on Channel 7 Mornings - 10 May
The launch of our ‘Con-free footy’ campaign at the MCG was covered on Channel 9 News - 9 May
When the Government announced some steps forward on sports betting, Alliance spokespeople Tim Costello and Charles Livingstone where on the ABC TV news - 29 April
Our social media presence is growing well and our best performing posts are always those shared by our partner organisations. If your organisation has a post you’d like us to share, let Kate Somerville know and we’ll share it if it fits the content guidelines for the Alliance. Kate is a volunteer Facebook content manager for the Alliance, and we’d love another volunteer to do the same with our Twitter account. Let Tony Mohr know if you have someone who has the time and skills for the job.
Volunteers and supporters
We’re keen to work with our partner organisations to grow the movement and build your audience as well. Moreland City Council and Common Grace are two partner organisations that use custom recruitment weblinks that allow them to track individual supporters that have joined through their effort
We’re also able to send emails to our supporters to promote your gambling reform related events, surveys or actions. Get in touch with Tony Mohr if your organisation would like to know more about custom web links and email or social media promo of your activities.
New on the website
If you haven’t paid a visit in a while, we’ve added some content;