‘Proudly Pokies Free’ Launch their Campaign
Proudly Pokies Free is a youth-focused campaign which raises awareness about the damage caused by the pokies in Australia.
By celebrating and promoting pokies free venues we aim to change the conversation around the pokies and make it clear that we can have a venue culture that doesn’t rely on them. A venue culture we can truly be proud off.
We want to see less people playing pokies, more people visiting pokies free venues, and less pokies overall.
NSW has 50% of Australia’s pokies so the campaign is starting here but we aim to spread throughout the rest of Australia.
NSW Pubs Sign Up For No-Pokies Promise
Proudly Pokies Free is attacking the prevalence of poker machines in three ways: raising awareness of problem gambling Down Under, especially for young people, supporting venues that choose not to offer pokies, and pushing for gambling reform on a federal level.
Kicking off in Sydney, several pubs have already signed up. Young Henry’s in Newtown is one of a handful of pubs that don’t have pokie machines. Campaigners are hoping that the message will carry across New South Wales, a state that boasts more pokie machines per capita than any other state in Australia. In fact, NSW has more machines per head than anywhere in the world other than Las Vegas.
The campaign is closely linked to that of the Alliance For Gambling Reform. The political movement was set up by Nick Xenophon and long-term anti-pokies MP, Andrew Wilkie. They are pushing for a maximum bet limit of $1 on machines. And with both independents doing well in the recent elections, they feel they have the impetus to make real change.
Campaign Head Carries On Father’s Work
Proudly Pokies Free was set up by Tom Lawrence and his sister Anna, whose late father Neil produced the documentary, Ka-Ching! Pokie Nation. The movie explores the obsession with pokie machines Down Under, and calls upon expertise from games developers, gambling researchers, and politicians to explore whether pokies are addictive and “fixed”.
The Proudly Pokies Free campaign cites the prevalence of gambling on pokies among young people. With more 18-24 year olds spending money on pokies than any other age group, campaigners say, awareness among young people about problem gambling has to be increased.
But Proudly Pokies Free isn’t out to destroy pubs and clubs that already offer gambling.