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Byron Shire
September 17, 2021

Greens: Shut down pokies and gambling rooms

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With the issues surrounding poker machine addiction being highlighted because of COVID-19, addicts are reporting they are happy the machines have been taken out range and many are concerned now that health restrictions have eased enough for them to be reopened.

Clubs and pubs have welcomed the ease in restrictions and are very happy that a huge source of their revenue has been greenlit with the reopening, but recent events have shown that the industry is a long way from ethical with companies being fined for encouraging punters to lose money.

Greens MP Cate Faehrmann says pokies should be closed immediately. Photo Tree Faerie

Pokies and COVID-19 health issues

Gambling spokesperson and Greens MP Cate Faehrmann Greens MP believes there are other reasons that gambling and poker machines should closed.

If venues will go to any lengths to encourage more gambling, how does that work with social distancing?

Ms Faehrmann says pokies pose an unacceptable risk during COVID-19 and should be shut down immediately.

‘The spread of the Crossroads cluster to the Picton Hotel because of a case visiting the gambling room multiple times is a sign that we need to shut down the pokies,’ said Ms Faehrmann.

Greens: close gambling rooms immediately.

Gambling rooms a COVID nightmare

‘Pokies and gambling rooms are a COVID nightmare with people spending hours in a confined space together, often moving between different machines and increasing the risk of contamination to others.

Ms Faehrmann says we know one of the signs of gambling harm can often be poor hygiene. This means those who are most vulnerable to the harms of pokies are also most likely to engage in behaviours that spread COVID-19.

‘While other states have been slow to reopen their gaming rooms, NSW was quick to reopen gaming rooms for up to 18 hours a day. There is no social benefit to opening poker machines but indeed many harms.

‘If the Government doesn’t close down poker machines and gambling rooms today, it’s clear that the interests of the powerful gambling lobby matter more than the safety of the community’.


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14 COMMENTS

  1. Please shut it down we will get rid of corona but if you don’t take this opportunity and shut these diseases we will lose this opportunity.

  2. Definitely not essential to anyone’s life. Keep the gaming rooms and machines closed down for the foreseeable future, obviously they pose serious risks to both physical and mental health.

  3. Close them all or the people getting the job seeker and job keeper will waste all that money the gov have given out and that is stupid and spread covid19 time to act now

  4. Good idea close all of them down.
    Then people would have less of a chance to get it. And they would have money to eat.
    Instead of feeding the poker machines.

  5. Good idea close all of them down.
    Then people would have less of a chance to get covid ….And they would have money to eat.
    Instead of feeding the poker machines.

  6. I have little “me” time in my life as I am a carer…the pokies are a great benefit to me as I use it for my getaway time…I cant go out wining and dining or to the movies as the times dont suit and I cant make appointments with friends as the person I care for is unpredictable for me to make appointments… so please leave me this one little pleasure in my life PLEASE

  7. It is a virus on its own!!!! POKIES stands for “People on Knees In Execution Stage” It ruin familes, encourage Drugs & Alcohol use, reckless finance stability behaviour.This “Game” increase negative Obsession, rechless aggression and sever depression.
    There is no one positive reason to keep this Virus going

  8. Gambling’s an addiction. So are many other activities. And many substances, legal and illegal, are addictive too.
    But is the solution to remove or render illegal all possibilities of addiction? No. An addictive personality will always find another addiction. And we all have addictive personalities. We are human.
    It’s too easy to condemn people starving their families to pour their entire income into a poker machine.
    It’s not so easy to see, for example, the damage done to society through people’s addiction to listening day and night to the ABC news, and no other source of news, and accepting what they hear as the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. A biased mind is a prejudiced mind and three quarters asleep. A healthy society needs healthy minds.
    Yes, some addictions appear mindlessly stupid. Others are not so easy to spot, particularly when they are within you. Are we not all addicted to habitual patterns of thought about the way the world is and what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’?
    And those addictive patterns of thought run the world.

  9. What a bunch of mugs you are.closing down pokie venues will just push people to online pokies and gambling,as many pokie addicts have already.for many ppl pokies is just a bit of me time and entertainment.it is not fair to shut them down because some ppl can not controll themselves.as for covid 19 the biggest scamdemic in the world.all I can say is I guess black lives matter more than all peoples lives.if you can’t see that Victoria’s recent spike in cases happened roughly two weeks after these stupid BLM protests.which should never of been aloud to go ahead.then your a Gronk,and part of the problem

  10. It has always made we upset with service clubs running the pokies. Weren’t service clubs set up to help support those in need. Instead it is to my observation and experience that it is often those in need who are the biggest uses of pokies in these clubs thus making their lives much much harder.
    I understand there will be always other forms of gambling but clubs make it so convenient and easy to gamble , even offering free tea and coffee and I’m told seperate rooms for smokers.

  11. Im hoping they shut the pokies in nsw it has ruined my life i never have any money im always broke i dont drink or smoke gambling is my weakness and i want to move on but the addiction is still there when they were closed i was paying my bills off i could buy groceries and i cant do that now please shut them down for good id prefer live music in the pubs

  12. Typical comments from The Fun Police. Thousands of people get great benefit from the social aspect of clubs. It might surprise that only a small number of people can’t control their gambling, but the majority play for fun. They hope to win, but they don’t go overboard. Clubs and hotels employ more people than any other industry, and provide million of dollars to charities. Greenies should get a life.

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