Stop the Pokies Pain

Dear Premier Andrews and Minister Kairouz,

The pokies are causing a huge amount of pain in my community.

These machines are designed to be addictive and cause massive financial stress that leads to family breakdown, crime, job loss, depression and suicide.

We want pokies phased out in our communities. And we want to see immediate action to reduce gambling harm – bring in $1 maximum bets on the pokies to limit the losses of problem gambling, give local councils and communities more say over pokies venue permits, and fix the machines which are engineered to trap people into addiction.


Pokies are draining $2.6 billion from Victorian communities every year, and the poorest communities lose the most. Melbourne’s western suburbs were hit hardest last year, losing $582 million.


Pokies are engineered to be highly addictive, and programed so the house will always win at the end of the day. Most people who play the pokies have no idea they are playing addiction machines.


Pokies can take more than $800 per hour from players, and these losses have huge consequences. The financial stress can lead to family breakdown, job loss, crime, depression and suicide.


Around 9% of the Victorian Government’s revenue comes from gambling losses. The government’s addiction to this money means they are unwilling to take meaningful action on the pokies.

Addiction Machines

Pokies are engineered to be addictive.

They are programmed by mathematicians so that the house will always win at the end of the day. They are designed to hook people in with sounds and flashy graphics and lights, and are known  as the “crack cocaine” of gambling.

As one pokies player puts it… “I consented to playing. I did not consent to unlawful hypnotism”.

Watch this preview of the explosive documentary Ka-Ching! Pokie Nation to see what these machines are capable of, and why they are wrecking havoc in the community.

What’s the solution?


Pokies machines are engineered to be highly addictive. Manufacturers understand how addiction works in the human brain, and know how to exploit it. Machines must be be reformed so they don’t trap people into addiction and abuse it for profit.


We want to see local councils have more control over the amount of poker machines in their areas. Most councils want less pokies, as they see close-up the harm it does to their communities. Yet, they are largely powerless to stop new poker machines being approved.


$1 bets limits will reduce average maximum losses from $840 per hour to $120 per hour. 88% of recreational gamblers don’t bet more than $1 per spin, so most punters won’t even notice the change, but it will go a long way to helping problem gamblers curb their losses.


Currently players can voluntarily pre-commit to a maximum loss limit, but this has shown to have no impact on pokies losses because it’s optional. Mandatory pre-commitment, however, is proven to work as it ensures all players stick to a predetermined limit.