Action on pokies

The Victorian InterChurch Gambling Taskforce has launched a postcard campaign calling on the Victorian government to tackle pokies reform.

The taskforce is asking Church members to take part in the campaign to combat the harmful effects of gambling.

“We are disappointed the new minister in charge of regulating gambling, Jane Garrett, has shown very little interest in any new and meaningful reforms to rein in the harm pokies continue to cause in our communities,” taskforce chair Dr Mark Zirnsak said.

“This campaign is a chance for Church members to remind the minister that the community is deeply concerned.

“Some people with gambling problems suffer relationship breakdown, depression, turn to crime, can lose their jobs and even commit suicide.”

The Victorian government’s own research has estimated around 30,000 Victorians suffer from gambling problems.

“The pokies industry continues to be the main cause of these problems,” Dr Zirnsak said.

“They design their machines to take the maximum amount of money from people who gamble on them.”

The postcard asks the minister to take significant steps to reduce the suffering caused by the pokies industry.

The campaign proposes setting $1 as the maximum a person can lose, per button push, and suggests requiring venue staff to offer help to people displaying signs of problem gambling.

The campaign also calls for limiting opening hours of pokie areas in venues and allowing local governments to have the final say on the number of pokies in their community.

To order cards please call 9251 5271 or email

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