Pokies Reform: An important first step, but fails to tackle gambling harm

10 Oct 2023

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The Victorian Greens have welcomed reforms announced today by the Victorian Labor Government to reduce gambling related harm, but say they don’t go far enough.

Earlier today, the Government announced it would introduce measures like six-hour shutdowns, $100 dollar load up limits, and slower spin speeds.

The Greens say these reforms will provide some welcome relief to those impacted by gambling harm at venues with pokies, but that they should only be a first step.

The Greens say that longer-term the Government must introduce:

  • $1 dollar bet limits.
  • $20 dollar load up limits and $500 dollar jackpot limits.
  • Longer closing periods for pokies venues, from 12am to 10am.
  • A ban on political donations from the gambling industry.

Since they were introduced in the state 30 years ago, Victorians have lost a staggering $66 billion at the pokies and it costs the Victorian Government billions in mental health and other services each year.

Acting Leader of the Victorian Greens, Dr Tim Read, said gambling harm was a serious public health issue that affected individuals, families and communities, but that with political will, a pokies-free Victoria was possible.

He added that while today’s announcement was an important first step, the Government ultimately needed to completely overhaul the system to get pokies out of our communities for good and put people first.

Quotes attributable to Acting Leader of the Victorian Greens, Dr Tim Read:

“For decades the major parties have enjoyed cosy relationships with the gambling industry while our communities have continued to suffer the brunt of gambling harm.

“Enough is enough.

“Today’s announcement is welcome, and will provide some relief to the countless Victorians impacted by gambling harm. But these reforms don’t go far enough.

“The Greens want to see a complete overhaul of the system, so that longer-term we can get pokies out of our communities and put people first.”

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