Fact Sheet #4


We know what policies are needed to make these machines safer. With your help, we'll get them delivered. 

Preventing and reducing harm from poker machines

We have the solutions to make pokies safe. Many of them have been recommended by the Productivity Commission[i], a national, evidence based body that has produced two reports into gambling and policy to reduce the harm it can cause. Our package of reforms can be adopted by state or federal governments.

Take the cons out of the machines

Design features that are addictive, deceptive and misleading should be illegal in poker machines. Casinos can’t cheat at Black Jack. Cheating poker machines are not okay either. This means:

  • No losses disguised as wins
  • No “loaded reels”
  • No programmed “near misses”

Removing these features will make the machines less addictive, and prevent many people from experiencing harm.

A speed limit for poker machines: $1 maximum bets

Every car registered in Australia can be driven at dangerous, lethal speeds. We have speed limits and drink driving laws to reduce the death toll caused by motor vehicles – and they work.

It’s time we took the same, sensible approach to reducing the damage done by poker machines. In NSW the maximum bet is $10 a spin, and the average losses on these machines is $1,200 per hour. That’s like having a speed ‘limit’ of 250km/hr.

Limiting maximum bets to $1 is an important step in reducing harm from poker machines. This should be supported by maximum hourly losses of $120 as recommended by the Productivity Commission.

Empower local communities

At the moment, the views of local communities and local councils are routinely ignored when it comes to placement of more poker machines. We support local communities having the ability to have a genuine say on where machines are be located. Local government in all States and Territories should have a meaningful role in representing their constituents on this issue.

Together, we can make our clubs and pubs safer

We know the laws that can reduce the harm from poker machines. To ensure they get implemented we will work with people like you from around the country to:

  • Change the conversation, and start talking about how these machines couldn’t be more different from two-up or a bet on cup day. Start by watching Ka-ching! with your friends and family.
  • Make our clubs and pubs do us proud, by supporting the solutions that experts are asking for and evidence demands. Ask your club and pub to back our reforms and protect members from predatory poker machines.
  • Push the politics into protecting people, not profits. It’ll be a tough one, and we’ll need your support to force them to listen, but getting elected is a strong motivator.

Download a printable PDF of our fact sheets here


[i] Productivity Commission Inquiry Report 2010

[ii] Hare, S. (2015) Study of Gambling and Health in Victoria, Victoria, Australia: Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation and Victorian Department of Justice and Regulation.