Australia has a serious pokies problem. We have 20% of the world's pokies, while constituting only 0.3% of the global population. We lose around $12 billion on the pokies a year and over 40% of this comes from people with an addiction. Up to 75% of people with a gambling problem have one because of the pokies and manufacturers are constantly designing their product to be more addictive.
This is an industry which survives off addiction and causes far more harm than any other form of gambling yet we have allowed it to become a fixture of our pubs and clubs. We are an not an anti-gambling group and we support individuals making their own decisions but believe that the manipulative, damaging and dangerous pokies industry requires stronger regulation.
In an ideal world, our venues wouldn't have pokies.
In Western Australia, pokies are restricted to casinos and consequently they have 1/3 the amount of problem gamblers than the rest of the nation. Proudly Pokies Free realises that big changes take time and therefore our short term goals are:
1. Raising awareness: The first step is to communicate the harm caused by the pokies and expose the industry for what it truly is. The more you learn, the scarier it gets, and more people need to know the facts.
2. Promote Pokies Free: We are supporting, celebrating and promoting the awesome venues that don't have pokies to help create a positive alternative vision for our venue culture.
3. Campaign for pokies reform: Proudly Pokies Free is passionate about creating lasting change. We support pokies policy reform, namely pushing for $1 maximum bets and the removal of features that are designed to deceive.
We support our friends; Nick Xenophon, Andrew Wilkie and The Alliance for Gambling Reform who are pushing hard for pokies reform.
Apart from Nevada (Las Vegas), NSW has more pokies than any other state in the world.
We were the first state to legalise them and have over 50% of Australia’s 200,000 poker machines.
We cannot work towards a safer, greater, more creative Sydney without starting to question the sheer number and impact of the pokies.
This is a national issue that requires a national solution and we have the future aim of spreading this campaign throughout NSW and the rest of Australia.
1. Learn the facts and start the conversation.
2. Choose Proudly Pokies Free venues on your nights out.
3. Support our friends at The Alliance for Gambling Reform
Together we can work towards a venue culture we can be truly proud of and move on from an industry that trades in tragedy.