We are aware of addiction problems but probably only see the “tip of the iceberg”. Suicides in the vicinity of casinos are far from fully reported. Family incomes are decimated by addiction to regular poker machine usage.
Now we learn about blatant dishonesty, a criminal attack on the public.
I wish to copy complete, this email from Tim Costello, a hard-working and respected champion for Australian families experiencing hard times.
Perhaps readers will become better aware of the reality of gambling adverse influences on our society, agree with me that the gambling industry is far too unregulated, and needs serious action to encourage limitations to ensure an honest, ethical, “hobby” level of public involvement. Here is one way for individuals to have an influence on an important issue.
Last night, industry whistleblowers broke the silence on poker machines, in the explosive premiere of KaChing! Pokie Nation, now available on ABC iview. Below is an important message to GetUp members from Tim Costello, Australian Baptist minister, World Vision Australia CEO and member of the Alliance for Gambling Reform. Your details have not been shared with anyone.
A message from Tim Costello, (accompanied by a photo of him).
Ka-Ching! Pokie Nation left me shocked, revolted, and above all, angry.
For 20 years I’ve witnessed the damage caused by poker machines to our families and communities. But even I didn’t understand the extent of industry manipulation – until now.
Ka-Ching! went inside poker machines to show how they’re rigged to addict and impossible to win over time. One industry whistleblower explained how machines can be set to either “shear or slaughter the sheep” – and most Australian pokies are set to “slaughter”.
It makes you wonder how our governments allow these machines to be out there. I’ll tell you how: the absolute capture of both major parties by the pokies industry.
That’s why I’ve joined with more than 40 local governments, churches and community groups to form the Alliance for Gambling Reform.
Soon, I’ll be walking into the offices of the people who make, control and regulate these machines – from Woolworths, the largest poker machine owner in the country, to government ministers, many of whom sit cosily in the pockets of the gambling industry.
The difference between walking into those meetings alone, and walking in backed by the power of tens of thousands of Australians, cannot be overstated.
If we can build enough power together, the Alliance will work closely with GetUp members like you to expose the truth about poker machines. Together we’ll:
Blow the lid off the gambling industry by exposing how poker machines are rigged to keep people playing and fuel addiction
Shame companies profiting from pokies addiction, costing them customers and investors
Take on the poker machine industry in the courts, if that’s what it takes.
Then, when we’ve demonstrated the deliberate, misleading conduct of the pokies industry, we’ll take the fight to Parliament House, to the doorsteps of our MPs and senators.
But to do all of these things, we need tens of thousands of Australians standing with us. And it starts today – off the back of this explosive ABC documentary – with educating the people you know about the pokies con by signing and sharing this petition.
In 2012, I worked with GetUp members as part of the Stop the Loss Coalition. Together we took on the pokies industry and fought for sensible measures to curb poker machine harm. We were on the cusp of major reforms when the pokies lobby got to our politicians and snatched victory from our hands. We lost the battle, but not the war.
We’ve learned from these setbacks, developed a new strategy, and now we’re back, stronger and smarter, and with an alliance far broader than the last. We’re armed with new, cut-through messaging on how to explain the pokies con to Australians and research that dives deep into the artful con of machine design.
But the final piece of the puzzle is you: tens of thousands of ordinary Australians committed to con-free poker machines. Will you join us? https://www.getup.org.au/pokies-con
Alliance for Gambling Reform
PS – You may have seen stories about the poker machine industry crop up in the news recently. There are revelations our politicians being paid off by industry lobbyists, Woolworths-owned pokie-pubs luring families in with ‘kids eat free’ deals, and new poker machines coming to Australia, more addictive than ever before. If, like me, you’re sick to death of the pokies playing us all, join the fight for con-free poker machines: https://www.getup.org.au/pokies-con
PPS – Miss out on the show or keen to share it with friends? Ka-Ching! Pokie Nation is available on ABC iview for the next two weeks.
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