‘Pokie-Leaks’ campaign calls for whistleblowers to reveal information

Tasmania

Tasmania may ban pokies in clubs and hotels.

Three federal politicians in Australia are calling on whistleblowers to send them poker machine industry secrets with the promise of making them public using parliamentary privilege.

Australia.- Three federal politicians are calling on whistleblowers to send them poker machine industry secrets, promising in exchange to make them public using their parliamentary privilege. The Pokie-Leaks campaign is being launched in Sydney today by independent senator Nick Xenophon, Greens senator Larissa Waters and independent Denison MP Andrew Wilkie.

The politicians will call for confidential information, such as details of how machine design targets vulnerable players and undisclosed industry interaction with political parties, to be sent directly to them for release in Parliament.

The campaign is to be launched after Crown Casino and Australian pokie manufacturer Aristocrat are taken to court by former pokie player Shonica Guy, a supporter of the Alliance for Gambling Reform. Ms Guy is seeking an order stating that the machines she played are deceptive. There is the possibility that information made public via the Pokie-Leaks campaign could be used by lawyers Maurice Blackburn in the case.

“This information needs to be out there in the court of public opinion,” said Senator Xenophon. “If you know something that needs to be revealed, tell us, and with parliamentary privilege, we can tell everyone. For too long, this predatory industry has relied on secret and harmful features, which are designed to be addictive.”

Senator Waters said that the disclosure of information about dishonest or illegal behaviour in the pokies industry “can help us hold them to account in Parliament” and that the identity of whistleblowers would be protected.

Mr Wilkie said the poker machine industry “is fundamentally exploitative and very careful to try and keep its methods secret”. And he added that “Pokie-Leaks will establish a valuable mechanism for industry insiders and members of the public to tell us what they know.”