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Speaking up for pokie-free communities

Anglicare today revealed new advertising calling for the removal of poker machines from hotels and clubs.

A 30 second TV advertisement was screened at a launch in Launceston, where 366 poker machines in 14 venues took $16.7 million from the community last year.

“We are at a crucial point in time where we can choose to limit the damage caused by these machines, or go down the path of creating more powerful vested interests and higher levels of harm,” said Meg Webb, manager of Anglicare’s Social Action and Research Centre.

For two decades, Anglicare has provided evidence-based research and community education about poker machines. The new advertising includes a TV ad, radio spots and a social media campaign.

“We want all Tasmanians to have clear facts about the harm being caused by high-intensity machines designed to trigger addiction,” said Ms Webb. “Poker machines not only take $110 million from local communities each year, they are clustered in the most disadvantaged areas. We don’t think that’s fair”.

“40% of poker machine revenue is taken from people with an addiction,” said Ms Webb. “We believe there are better ways to do business”.

Poker machines are linked to family breakdown, financial hardship, crime, health problems, work issues and suicide. For every person harmed by poker machine gambling, seven others are also affected.

“It’s time to free our local neighbourhoods of poker machines,” said Ms Webb. “We can choose a healthier future for our state, one that prioritises the wellbeing of local people, communities and businesses”.

The new advertisements will begin airing from tonight.

RELEASE DATE: February 14 2018