Winning against Woolies!
Early July 2019 brought with it the excellent news that Woolworths is scaling back its investments in the predatory pokies business, and it’s all thanks to you!
Supporter-driven campaigns have been putting concerted pressure on Woolworths to divest their pokies holdings due to the appalling harm they have on our communities. It made no sense for a business so tied to feeding families to be keeping food off of tables due to pokies losses.
Ideally, Woolworths would have completely divested their pokies ownership, and we haven’t reached that goal yet. But Woolworths reducing its holdings in the pokies business to a reported 15% is the largest shift in pokies ownership in Australian history, and this shift is by the single biggest owner of pokies. That is definitely worth celebrating.
In scaling back their ownership of pokies investments, Woolworths join their biggest competitor, Coles, and more than half of the AFL’s clubs in making a huge decision: despite bringing in millions of dollars each year, owning pokies is simply too damaging to their brand.
This won’t reduce the damage done by gambling in its own right, but it does lay a critical foundation for further reform, and we will use this foundation to build on our campaigns to minimise the horrendous harm done by gambling.