No More Pokies for Bendigo! - Alliance for Gambling Reform

No More Pokies for Bendigo!

Dear Honourable Jacinta Allan and Minister Marlene Kairouz,

Bendigo is already home to 641 poker machines and now Bendigo Stadium Ltd is attempting to add 44 more. The Council took leadership to prevent Bendigo being subject to higher levels of pokie harm but now the matter is being heard by the VCGLR.

Ms Allan, in 2015-2016, on average Bendigo lost $133,000 from poker machines per day, $48,696,384 in that year – or approx. $77,542 per machine. That's $575 per adult.

Minister Kairouz, the link between pokies and social harms, including: domestic violence, poverty and mental health issues, is well-established. It is estimated that for every person with a gambling issues, 7.3 people (family, friends, colleagues) are adversely affected. Pokies account for 75-80% of gambling-related harm. 

Your Government made a commitment to decrease family violence in Victoria, and I applaud you for that. But to allow an increase in pokies would not only be a contradiction, it would see this commitment undone. I don't want that for my community. 

Help us to keep Wellington Hotel pokie-free. Protect our community. Ask the VCGLR to reject this application!

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Bendigo is currently home to 641 pokies! Poker machines are associated with increased rates of family violence, poverty and mental health issues, including addiction, depression and the potential for suicide attempts. We don't want the negative impacts of pokies to rise in our community. The Wellington Hotel currently has no poker machines and it is now applying for 44. In 2015-2016, on average $133,000 was lost in pokies per day. $48,696,384 was lost in poker machines in that year – or approx. $77,542 per machine. That's $575 per adult. We cannot allow the potential for harm to increase.

The applicants for adding pokies to the Wellington Hotel, Bendigo Stadium Ltd, already have another pokie-venue which takes $3.3 million a year from Bendigo residents. They shouldn't be allowed to profit further from a product which harms our community.