Newsletter07072016 - Alliance for Gambling Reform

AGR June Newsletter

Federal opportunities

Things just got (more) interesting. At the time of writing, Federal Parliament remains in the twilight zone. While we don’t know who will form government or how, we do know that NXT party, Wilkie and Greens party all have strong policy on gambling reform, and will have an significant role in both the lower and upper houses of parliament.

For now, we have Tim Costello working the phone, but stayed tuned for more as the count continues . . .

Financial members

Towards the close of the financial year, we had Moreland, Monash and Melbourne City Councils sign up as top-tier financial partners of the Alliance. Without the support of these councils, the Alliance would simply not be able to continue our work. In addition, Darebin Yarra ranges and Hobsons Bay councils have also made financial contributions, thanks so much for your support.  

It’s never too late to become a financial member, just send our Chair Geoff Lake an email if you’d like to know more.

AFL Campaign

Screenshot_2016-06-21_11.41.17.pngThe campaign to shift the AFL clubs on their poker machines has heated up, with Collingwood making a commitment in a funding agreement with Melbourne City Council to wean itself off poker machines - and then exposed for secretly trying to buy more at the same time!

We’ve kept the pressure up with petitions, fan letters to their club, this great video, volunteers signing up hundreds of AFL fans at the MCG and a steady stream of supportive media coverage in Herald Sun. Our next event is at the MCG this Sunday the 10th, and on the 20th August we’ll be taking the AFL campaign to Adelaide where the pokie-free Crows wil take on pokie’d Port Adelaide

If your networks, stakeholders or members would be interested in getting more involved, we have a range of options from petitioning you local club to volunteering at a match. Let me know if you’re interested and we can develop some great activities for you.

Political donations reform

Dr Charles Livingstone completed the first round of in depth research into political donations made by the poker machine clubs, to politicians and parties. The full report, article in the conversation and write up in the Melbourne Age and Sydney Morning Herald  were used to launch this petition and this action, where supporters where able to write a personal letter to all the candidates in their electorate

This line of campaigning doesn’t stop here though. With Australia’s transparency and restrictions on political donations a long way behind that of the US, there’s interest in other issue areas such as tobacco control alcohol and climate change. This won't be the last time you here about this issue.

From a strategy point of view working along these lines removes a key hurdle to reform, and also reduces the social license of the poker machine industry

Strategic Litigation

Maurice Blackburn are busy working on the case, and we still anticipate filing somewhere around July - August. We’ll be updating you as we get closer

Local campaigns

We’re providing some support for community members organising opposition to applications for more poker machines in their community. The Commercial Hotel has lodged an application for more machines, and we’ve provided the community with some advice and tools to make objections

If you have groups or stakeholders in an area where a venue wants more machines, let us know, and we’ll work with you to provide some support. 

New Victorian state data spreadsheet

The fantastic work of Hayden Brown, social planner at the City of Greater Dandenong is available in this great spreadsheet of Victorian poker machine data. Really easy to use, this spreadsheet takes the raw data from the Victorian State Government and packages it up into great facts, specific to each council

New state Minister

In Victoria, the new Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation is Ms Marlene Kairouz. It’s early days but at least one Alliance member organisation has had a brief, introductory meeting with the Minister. We’ll be seeking a meeting with the Minister so if you or or organisation also has a request in, get in touch so we can coordinate our asks

Ka-ching educational package

The award winning documentary “Ka-ching! Pokie nation” continues to have a big impact. This month the Unitarian Church of SA passed poluicy to ban investments in any gambling company after the film stimulated debate about what they could do to help.

The documentary makers are releasing the film in some additional kits for different audiences. An educational pack has been produced, with the DVD and workshop materials that can be used as part of ongoing staff and stakeholder education programs. For organisations that want to use the film repeatadly and in different locations, this is for you! Click here more more information.

The film is also due to be released on pay-per view platforms soon, allowing anyone to download and watch the film from their computer or smart TV

In the news

2 June, ABV TV 7:30 report

Alliance spokesperson Dr Charles Livingstone talks sportsbetting and match fixing

3 June, Herald Sun

Pressure building on AFL to wean off pokies

4 June, Sydney Morning Herald

Gambling harm report kept under wraps as NSW reaps pokie tax dollars

5 June, Greater Dandenong Leader

Greater Dandenong gamblers put $99.7 million into pokies in 2015/16 financial year so far

8 June, Herald Sun

City of Melbourne formalise its objection to AFL’s growing reliance on harmful pokies revenue

16 June, Herald Sun

Melbourne city council calls on Collingwood Football Club to wean itself off poker machine revenue

21 June, Herald Sun

AFL warned about links between pokies addiction and domestic violence

27 June, Herald Sun

Collingwood hopes to be pokies-free in 10 years in Melbourne City Council agreement

28 June, Herald Sun

Collingwood applies for more poker machines days after saying they want to be pokie-free

28 June, Melbourne Age and Sydney Morning Herald

Federal election 2016: ClubsNSW donated $10,000 to Kevin Andrews' Victorian-based Menzies 200 club last year

29 June, Herald Sun

Rival AFL clubs, Melbourne Racing Club eye Western Bulldogs’ 70 poker machines


We have a great bunch of volunteers who do everything from signing up fans at the MCG, making banners, crucial admin support, calling other volunteers, co-editing our social media, organising film screenings and much more.

If your organisation has volunteers that would like to get involved, or if you need volunteers for your organisations work on gambling reform, just get in touch and we can figure out what will work best for you.