Poker machines are silent, let's flick the switch for good
Dear State and Territory Premiers and Chief Ministers, and Gambling Ministers,
The poker machines currently silenced by the COVID-19 pandemic will have kept $34.2 million in the pockets of Australians every single day. But it is well known the harm from poker machines extends beyond just financial loss.
You have an opportunity to strengthen communities and businesses in recovery by reducing harm from gambling.
Follow the ACT - use financial assistance packages to keep people employed and slash the number of poker machines.
We know that clubs and pubs are struggling, as are all businesses. We know that people need jobs. Your financial assistance packages can help employ more people if you focus on putting money into real jobs providing meals and live music, rather than the sparsely staffed pokie venues.
The harm that poker machine gambling causes in Australia is huge. Clubs and pubs should be fun places, with live entertainment and a safe working environment for staff. The last thing our community needs as we recover is an industry preying on people who’ve been through the struggle to fight COVID-19.
As you consider how to help your community clubs and local pubs during the COVID-19 shutdowns, support those that are pokie-free or commit to turning their machines off for good.