Phasing out poker machines

Since they were introduced into the state 30 years ago, Victorians have lost a staggering $66 billion on poker machines. As well as the huge financial cost they cause for communities and the state government through increased pressure on mental health and other services, poker machines inflict terrible harm on people, having been linked to homelessness, family violence and suicide. 

Poker machines have been deliberately designed by the gambling industry to be highly addictive. But while many other types of gambling are confined to the casino, the majority of poker machines in Victoria are in pubs and clubs in the community, and in higher concentrations in disadvantaged communities.

When poker machine venues were closed during the pandemic, losses dropped significantly. But we are now again seeing record monthly losses and are on track to break the yearly record of $2.7 billion dollars in 2018-19.

Due to pressure from independent gambling awareness groups and the Greens, the government passed long-overdue legislation which will see some much needed poker machine reform.

The reforms will see measures such as six-hour shutdowns, $100 dollar load up limits, and slower spin speeds. While this is a step in the right direction and echoes the calls from gambling harm reduction advocacy groups, these reforms don’t go far enough. We need to get predatory poker machines out of our communities to protect Victorians from gambling harm.

The Greens have a plan for phasing out poker machines in Victoria over the next ten years. This would include: 

  • $1 dollar bet limits.
  • $20 dollar load up limits and $500 dollar jackpot limits.
  • A mandatory pre-commitment cashless card scheme on every poker machine in the state.
  • Longer closing periods for poker machine venues, from 12am to 10am.
  • A ban on political donations from the gambling industry.
  • Increase the tax on all poker machines to 65%. 
  • A buy-back scheme for poker machine licences. 

Gamblers Helpline 1800 858 858

Phasing out poker machines


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