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Help us to fight against online gambling harm
in Australia

Join us in the fight to reduce gambling harm and make Australia a fairer country.

Australians lose more money (per capita) to gambling than any other country. A new 24/7 online and on-screen gambling environment is impacting millions of Australians. And the power of gambling companies means governments are very reluctant to impose any restrictions.

The Alliance for Gambling Reform is shifting the public and political discussions about gambling in Australia, but we need you to be part of our team if we are going to be successful.

We are raising money to enable us to end gambling advertisements to children, end predatory targeting by gambling companies, and establish a national gambling regulator.

TAKE ACTION

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I accept my punishment. I can't accept the destruction continuing.  Every day, more people are being hurt. Families, community services, the courts and the public are all picking up the cost.

ONLINE GAMBLING AND ITS IMPACTS ON THOSE EXPERIENCING GAMBLING HARM

Online gambling participation has increased exponentially over the past few years and the true extent of its impacts and reach are still being fully understood. However, the evidence available shows significant gambling harm being experienced online by young people and vulnerable community groups with a significant increase in online wagering companies profits over the past few years.

Gavin Fineff lost everything to online sports betting. His story is something every Australian should know about. No one should have to endure this level of loss, guilt and heartache. Sign the petition to support Andrew Wilkie’s bill - Making Gambling Businesses Accountable 2022 - sending a strong message to our political leaders that if this Bill were passed, we could ensure that gambling companies no longer profit from the proceeds of crime or predatory practices that take advantage of gambling addiction.

READ MORE about Gavin Fineff's  story.

Sign the petition to make gambling companies accountable

Thank you for helping us make a difference!

 
City Lights

END GAMBLING HARM AFTER DARK

The risk of gambling harm from poker machines increases after dark. We know that the high levels of harm being experienced by people in the late hours of the night and early hours of the morning are avoidable. 
Click here to learn more and take action

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CALLING FOR AN END TO GAMBLING ADS

It's time to kick gambling ads out of sport!
Sign the petition and find out more about how you can stand with us to end gambling ads here!

Melbourne Cityscape

VICTORIA STATE ELECTION 2022 -TIME TO DEMAND CHANGE!

We've been advocating on these issues for many years, but it's now time with the state election to ramp up the movement and make sure candidates and MPs know gambling harm is a crucial public health issue which needs immediate and meaningful reforms! Click here to learn more.

Media Release

18 November 2022

Pubs and clubs profiting from on-premise gambling
should meet the same requirements as casinos

 

Alarming VGCCC investigation finds 80% of Victorian ALH venues non-compliant with harm minimisation legal requirements

 

The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has today

announced Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH) has been found to be

non-compliant at 80% of its 77 Victorian venues that offer gambling. ALH has not

been adhering to requirements aimed to reduce gambling harm.

 

Rev. Tim Costello said the findings are appalling and the maximum fine available, a dismal $1.35 million, is a drop in the ocean for ALH who operate over 12,000 poker machines across the country.

 

‘Less than 0.05% of Endeavour’s (who own ALH) annual Hotel profits will be impacted by this fine. We need to empower the regulator to utilise the same fines that are available to casinos and ensure meaningful penalties for such disgraceful conduct’ Rev. Costello Said.

 

‘YourPlay (the pre-commitment program) is the only tool available to people to set limits on their losses on poker machines, and to remove this option from some of Victoria’s highest loss venues is a disgrace. Yet again, this cowboy approach to gambling harm from some licensees reinforces the need for a mandatory system on all poker machines, the same as that being introduced to Crown Casino.’

 

YourPlay, the voluntary pre-commitment system has come under fire in recent years, following a report commissioned by the Victorian Department of Justice found it had not been a success and usage in pubs and clubs was very low.

 

We are calling on both major parties to commit to taking meaningful and tangible steps, including increasing fines available to pubs and clubs, and committing to a cashless, mandatory pre-commitment system on all of Victoria’s poker machines in the lead up to the Victorian State election on the 26th of November.

 

The Alliance is a national advocacy organisation which works to prevent and minimise the harm from gambling. Our aim is to remove the shame that surrounds gambling, have the problem treated as a public health issue, and achieve the legislative changes needed to protect our communities. We bring together well over 60 organisations who share the objectives of preventing harm from gambling.

Media contact: Martin Thomas – 0477 340 704

On pokies, it seems NSW Labor stands for social injustice

The Canberra Times, 9 November 2022
By RV Time Costello

In more than 30 years of campaigning for gambling reform, I have not witnessed the anger that now exists at the excesses of the gambling industry.

 

Everyone I speak to is fed up with being bombarded by gambling ads on our screens. Australia is a virtually unregulated, Wild West for foreign-owned online sports gambling agencies that are registered in the Northern Territory and pay minimal tax.

 

The latest figures we have show an average of 948 gambling ads ran on free-to-air TV every day last year, with 148 ads airing between the traditional family viewing time of 6pm to 8.30pm. That is a 153 per cent increase since 2016, surpassing advertising spending by the alcohol industry and delivering an ad on our screens every minute of every day. It compares with just 11 gambling ads in Britain.Kids are being groomed for a life of gambling and there is a white-hot anger from many parents that we are not protecting them.

 

There is anger and dismay at the catastrophic governance failures of Crown and Star casinos. Inquiries in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast have uncovered evidence of fraud, money laundering and the facilitation of organised crime.

 

And it beggars belief that, as a result of those inquiries, there were recommendations that the licence holders were unfit to run a casino and yet Crown and Star were allowed to continue operating. We now await the outcome in Queensland.

 

There is also growing anger at the failure of government to better rein in the excesses of poker machine operators. It is mind-boggling to think $95 billion is turned over through poker machines in NSW pubs and clubs each year. Of the $25 billion Australians lose to gambling every year, poker machines account for $11.7 billion.

 

For years, it’s been said if people want to play the poker machines, “let them”. If some have a problem, then why should everyone suffer. But the NSW Crime Commission report highlighted the myth of such an attitude.

 

As this masthead has said, that report is a game-changer that cannot be ignored. It found billions of dollars of dirty money is being funnelled through poker machines. While the commission said there was not enough data to determine just how much was laundered, there was evidence of people committing crimes to feed their poker machine use.

 

This means poker machines don’t just hurt a few, they hurt us all. They hurt anyone who has been a victim of crime, anyone who has had their car stolen or their house broken into – in fact, anyone who has had to pay higher insurance premiums because of the poker machine-led crime spree.

 

If NSW, politicians continue to fail to act on the recommendations of the Crime Commission, they are not only failing to protect those who are preyed upon by poker machine operators, they are being soft on crime.

 

The commission’s key recommendation is a cashless gambling card. A mandatory card would combat money laundering because it would require people to prove their identity, which criminals are reluctant to do, and it would enable people to pre-set a limit, capping their potential gambling losses.

 

Both the major parties are timid and fearful of the power of the gambling industry, their political donations and their lobbying. But they should be more fearful of an angry public, which is sick and tired of inaction.

 

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has at least publicly committed to the introduction of the cashless gambling card. But he is yet to say how he will do it. He has the support of crossbenchers but his Coalition partners in the National Party appear far from committed.

 

The only state that has moved to implement a cashless gambling card is Tasmania. Ironically, it introduced the same model that was proposed in NSW but was rolled by the industry. The key to foiling the power of the gambling lobby was bipartisanship.

 

It is extraordinary that NSW Opposition Leader Chris Minns has not been stronger on this issue. The suburbs where poker machines do the biggest damage, where countless millions are ripped out of the local community, are in traditional Labor electorates.

 

It is the Labor battlers who are being belted by the poker machine operators who are raking in mega profits. It is also these communities suffering most from crime waves that are fuelling poker machine habits.

 

Labor has traditionally been the party of the worker rather than the big end of town. Yet Minns’ failure to offer a bipartisan approach both hurts the worker and puts countless millions of dollars into the hands of a few. It appears, when it comes to poker machines, Labor is the party of social injustice.

 

Now is the time. There is a critical opportunity ahead of the next election to act. To not sign another Memorandum of Understanding with Clubs NSW but to put in place long-overdue reform.

 

The anger is building. There are already signs that the next election will see independents running on a gambling reform platform in critical marginal seats across NSW. If the major parties don’t choose to act together for the good of the state, at least they can act in both their own self-interests.

 

NSW will get a cashless gambling card eventually. The public demand for it will build until it is untenable to ignore. Today is the time for our political leaders to ensure they are on the right side of history.

We're an independent, not-for-profit and proudly rely on our supporters, not the gambling industry!
Make a tax-deductible donation today. 

Rev Tim Costello
Chief Advocate

Some of our largest companies and investment funds have a vested interest in poker machine gambling. Governments want few restraints given that $5.5 billion flow into their coffers every year. This is a difficult problem to unlock. Many Australians have a stake in the future of the gambling industry through their superannuation, equity investments and participation in clubs and pubs.

Over the past twenty years this is an industry that has been unleashed on Australia, without reasonable regulatory controls or even a genuine community conversation.

Australian Currency

GAMBLING DATA

Australians spend more per person on gambling than any other country in the world - almost double that of New Zealand.

Poker machines are the most harmful form of gambling, making up $11 billion of Australia’s total gambling losses in clubs and pubs alone.

Australians spend more money gambling than on other activities that can be addictive and dangerous including alcohol, tobacco and all illegal drugs. It is a major driver of household debt, and family and personal dysfunction.

The Australian gambling industry pocketed $25 billion dollars in 2018-19, largely from Australians who can least afford it. A complacent attitude to the gambling industry has resulted in few marketing, planning or technology constraints.

$24B

GAMBLING

$14.9B

ALCOHOL

$9.3B

ILLEGAL DRUGS

$6B

TOBACCO

Poker Machines Petition

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THE POKIES

STAND WITH US AGAINST POKER MACHINES DESIGNED TO ADDICT

Latest News

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More Australians gambling online as AMA calls for government regulation

AMA

24 November 2022, 12:00:00 am

The AMA is calling on the federal government to do more to regulate online gambling platforms and advertising of online gambling products in a submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Online Gambling and its Impacts on Those Experiencing Gambling Harm.

It comes as new research from the Australian Gambling Research Centre shows many Australians opened accounts with online gambling companies for the first time during COVID-19. Nearly 1 in 3 of those surveyed said they signed up for a new online betting account during COVID-19. Young men were the most likely group to sign up for new accounts, increase their monthly spend on gambling and be at risk of gambling related harm.

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‘Seriously flawed’ pokies grants scheme should be axed, says welfare group

The Sydney Morning Herald

22 November 2022, 12:00:00 am

NSW’s peak body for welfare services says the state government should axe a grants scheme funded from poker machine profits, warning clubs view the money as theirs “to spend as they see fit” at the expense of the disadvantaged communities it was designed to help.

The NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS) also wants to end its 24-year association with ClubGrants after a review found the scheme that has handed out more than $1 billion was “seriously flawed, rife with opportunities for conflicts of interest, and had no real enforcement of the rules”.

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NSW cashless cards a must: whistleblower

The West Australian

21 November 2022, 12:00:00 am

Gambling whistleblower Troy Stolz hasn't wavered in his determination to take on one of the most powerful lobby groups in NSW, despite battling metastatic cancer.

For eight years he was the head of anti-money laundering with ClubsNSW, before leaving in 2019, leaking an internal report showing more than 90 per cent of gaming venues were not complying with money laundering regulations.

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Scattered voters lose democracy sausage spirit

The Age

23 November 2022, 12:00:00 am

"You have to wonder why neither of the major parties will commit to pokie reforms, despite record losses in pokies by the Victorian community this year. Is it because they don’t want to help those with shocking gambling addictions or is it because they don’t want to lose support of gambling donations?" Sophie Paterson, Hawthorn

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Gambling’s Spread

The New York Times

21 November 2022, 12:00:00 am

Four years ago, betting on live sports was illegal in most of the United States. Now, fans watching games or attending them at stadiums are barraged with advertisements encouraging them to bet on matchups, not just watch as spectators.

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Tabcorp urges ban on gambling ads on TV

Financial Review

21 November 2022, 12:00:00 am

Tabcorp managing director and CEO Adam Rytenskild has said Tabcorp will phase out gambling advertising during peak times even if the government does not enact new laws. The caveat on that deal (one source said) is that Tabcorp’s own stations such as Sky Racing – which run non-stop gambling ads – would be exempt from the proposed blackout.