Australia pushes against poker machines

Australia pushes against poker machines

A new group wants to reduce the number of poker machines in the country.

Australia.- Australia currently holds 20 percent of the entire world’s poker machines. Proudly Pokies Free is a campaign that’s aiming to reduce the number of machines in gambling venues such as casinos and bars.

More than 70 percent of Australians engage in some sort of gambling activity every year, and according to Anna and Tom Lawrence, the creators of Proudly Pokies Free, statistics showed that gambling can become a problem very quickly. The country currently has 500.000 cases of people addicted to gambling, making it the world’s biggest gamblers when it comes to addiction related to poker machines.

“Nobody else is doing what Australia is doing. When you look at the harm pokies cause, not just people addicted to them but the culture they create, it’d be insane not to question it. We’ve seen live music decimated in Sydney, increases in alcohol and substance abuse and domestic violence where poker machines are concentrated heavily. There are hundreds of suicides a year related to gambling, and so many gambling addicts have a problem with pokies,” said Tom Lawrence. Whilst the brothers are pushing for a change in legislation, there are people who claim that the majority “should not be punished for what a few people do.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said that this campaign complements the OPEN Sydney Strategy that promotes a safe, inclusive and diverse night time economy. “They are one of 150 venues in the City of Sydney area that don’t have poker machines. We want that number to continue to rise,” he added.