Clubs Australia are spending the big bucks to convince us that reforms aimed at helping problem gamblers with pokie machine addiction are "UnAustralian." They’re trying to walk both sides of the street: saying that reform will ruin the revenue they receive from problem gamblers, while at the same time saying that reform won’t reduce problem gambling!
We call bull****.
This week, Clubs Australia announced that they’ve teamed up with NRL bosses to launch an ad campaign during this weekend’s widely watched footy grand finals. They’re not letting the truth get in the way of a good story: this "footy tax" will be the death of sport and punting in our country!
After listening to gross distortions of the facts from respected club leaders we couldn’t sit back and watch any longer; so we created a TV ad to highlight the absurdity of their position.
Check out the video, share it with friends, and chip in to put it on air this footy final weekend. If enough of us chip in together now, we can book primetime spots during this weekend’s NRL and AFL Grand Finals. The more we raise together the better the ad spots we can get. Will you join us and be part of it?
Without reform, pokie machines enable a social problem that can ruin individuals, families, businesses and marriages. The clubs say they need problem gambling profits so they can give back to the community, but most clubs receive more in tax breaks, and spend more on advertising than they give back to their local communities.
The numbers make a case that is hard to ignore:
– A problem gambler can currently lose $1,200 in just one hour on high-intensity machines1
– 40% of pokie losses come from problem gamblers; that’s $5 billion of the $12 billion Australians lose on pokies each year2
– A study in Victoria found that 1 in 10 problem gamblers say they’ve contemplated suicide because of problem gambling3.
Australia has the greatest number of dangerous high-loss pokie machines in the world. These machines have been called the "crack cocaine" of gambling – and for good reason. They are designed to be highly appealing to addictive personalities, making them unique compared to other forms of gambling.
While Clubs executives are spending millions playing fast and loose with the facts, Australian families are dealing with the harsh reality of problem gambling. It’s time for reform that limits the prevalence of high-loss machines and gives problem gamblers a way to choose how much they’re willing to lose on the slots before they get carried away in the moment.
Clubs that profit from gambling losses are doing everything they can to preserve their pokie profits, but we don’t have to let them get away with it.
Help us run our ad and make the case that Clubs Australia needs weaning off their addiction to problem gambling profits – chip in here.
Earlier this week, AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou may have said it best: "Please stop talking on our behalf – just shut up." Let’s make sure that the clubs are not speaking for us.
Enjoy the footy!
– the GetUp team.
PS – TV spots are filling up fast for the weekend. We’re working with media buyers to grab the best spots possible using the money we raise together. We’ll start with ads during the NRL Grand Final in regional NSW, VIC and QLD and the AFL Grand Final in Sydney. Then, if we raise more, we’ll book more available spots. The more we raise together, the better the ads we can get. chip in here – we’ll update the website as ads are locked in.
1Gambling Report Volume I (Report No 50), Australian Productivity Commission, 26 February 2010, p. 24
2Gambling Report Volume I (Report No 50), Australian Productivity Commission, 26 February 2010, p.19
3The Contribution of the Australian Government to Mental Health in Australia, Submission to Senate Inquiry Into The Provision of Mental Health Services in Australia 2005, Attachment 19