The Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC) has passed a motion supporting the campaign to ask the Victorian Government to ban pokies in suburban venues and to engage with Federal and state governments about limiting or banning gambling advertisements, which can often be seen by children.
Pokies profits have soared. There are nearly 30,000 pokies machines in Victoria, most of them in working class suburbs and communities. The machines are designed to be addictive, making people overestimate their wins while underestimating their losses.
This can lead to a multitude of problems, including for victims’ mental health. One former victim told media that gambling on pokies was more addictive than drugs.
Tasmania and NSW have begun implementing pokies reforms. Earlier this year, several Melbourne councils signed a letter calling on the Andrews Labor Government to follow suit.
To support the VTHC motion, they are surveying union members about their attitudes towards gambling reform and gathering stories from people whose lives have been impacted by the pokies. They need as many responses as possible in order to demonstrate the scale of the impact gambling is having on our community, to compel the Victorian Government to take meaningful action.
If you want to see gambling reform in Victoria, or have any thoughts to share on this issue, please take the survey.