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Council joins call for poker machine reform

Council joins call for poker machine reform

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The City of Whittlesea has joined a statewide call for poker machine reform in the lead up to the state election.

Council has been a part of the Pokies Play You campaign since 2017 and today has renewed its push for legislative reform calling on all political parties to introduce change.

Residents can throw their support behind the campaign by signing an online petition at

Mayor Kris Pavlidis said the City of Whittlesea was home for 691 poker machines and four of Victoria’s top 10 venues for poker machine losses.

Last year the community lost more than $106 million on local machines in one year.

“It is unacceptable that our community is being targeted with such a devastating impact. In fact, it is our most vulnerable communities who are being exploited by poker machines,” Cr Pavlidis said.

“We know poker machines cause harm; in fact they are designed to cause addiction.

“As a responsible authority, the City of Whittlesea will do everything that we can to prevent family violence and to help women and children at risk of or experiencing family violence.

“Achieving poker machine reform is one way that we can do that.”

The Pokies Play Whittlesea campaign, in partnership with the Alliance for Gambling Reform and Whittlesea Community Futures, is calling for legislative change.

“In the lead up to the State election, we are calling on all political parties to introduce changes to reduce the harm associated with pokies.”

The campaign calls for:

  1. Fewer poker machines

The State Government has given permission for another 199 poker machines in the municipality. We want this revoked and to have no additional poker machines in the City of Whittlesea.

  1. Reduced operating hours

Gaming venues can operate 20 hours a day and many local venues are open until 5am. We urge the government to introduce a mandatory shutdown of poker machine venues between 2am and 8am.

  1. ‘Con-free’ machines

Poker machines are designed to addict and rigged to con the user to keep playing. Machines designs should:

  • Remove losses disguised as wins, linked jackpots and free spins
  • Have a $1 maximum bet per spin (and maximum loss of $120 per hour)
  • Slower spin rates.

Residents can support the online petition at