Every day $18.7million is lost through poker machines in New South Wales. Every day of the year.
We need all MPs to start dealing with this as a public health issue and to swiftly act to minimize and prevent further harm. NSW still has over 92,000 poker machines (over 30% of the world’s non-casino pokies) and numbers have only fallen 5% in a decade.
Pokies are designed to addict and they contribute to poverty, mental health issues, and family violence.
We're campaigning to start the process of reducing gambling harm with common sense policies such as:
1. Bringing in $1 maximum bets
2. Banning loyalty programs that encourage people to gamble more
(click on the link to tip us off about loyalty programs in clubs and pubs)
3. Giving councils the right to say “NO” to pokie machines
We've been asking our supporters to lobby the Minister for gambling, Victor Dominello, and the Premier to act on gambling reform. We've been having key meetings with MPs, but they only act when they hear from residents. Your work has helped make these changes in NSW in 2019:
Awareness week: On Thursday 17 October 2019, the NSW Parliament's Upper House called on the government to change the name of the annual awareness week from the industry favoured Responsible Gambling Awareness Week to the more accurate Gambling Harm Awareness Week. In March 2020, the Minister and Office of Responsible Gambling announced a name change in 2020 - it will now be the GambleAware Week. Underwhelmed? So are we, especially since that name is the one used by the UK bookmakers' "charity" for their voluntary awareness week in Britain. Still - your efforts helped convince the Minister to start the move, and now we just need to keep the pressure on to get to a useful name in 2021.
Inducements: Also in October 2019, parliament also worked together to strengthen bans on inducements to get people to open online betting accounts. Excellent. Even better would be to ban inducements to gambling for everyone! Click here to send an email to the Minister asking for a total inducement ban.
Other campaigns you can support:
We want NSW Councils to have at least the same rights as Victorian ones to say NO! Sign the petition to give Councils the final say
We need to be able to access the information and data detailing pokie harm in NSW, sign the petition
Other actions you could take:
The NSW Budget Estimates sessions occur several times a year. This is where Upper House MPs can quiz Ministers, senior public servants and statutory bodies, like the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority. Those questions must be answered. You can ask your local MP to help you get a question asked - see here for further information.
What we're up against:
The NSW Coalition's Memos of Understanding with ClubsNSW:
The NSW ALP's Clubs Policy, released during the 2019 state election campaign