More Proof That The Only Pokie Winners Are The Pubs

Not-For-Profit Community Clubs?! You Mean Not-For-Community Profit Clubs!

Full story and original source article can be found at the Gladestone Observer or by following THIS LINK HERE

Since the start of the year the desperate, drunk and happy-go-lucky pokie punters in Gladstone have fed slightly more than $9.5 million dollars into 659 approved gaming machines at 25 venues around the region.

But, in what some are calling a consolation prize – we here at are calling it a kick in the teeth and the ultimate insult to the people of Gladstone – given the millions of dollars pokie machines take out of the community, six not-for-profit community organisations in Gladstone have joined in a share of more than $150,000 as part of the latest round of the Gambling Community Benefit Fund grants.

Ooooh how nice of your apparent Community Clubs to invest some money back into the community. NOT!! But before you start feeling a sense of compassion for the community clubs in Gladstone let’s take a look at how things have been looking over the last few years – because surely figure like this don’t just appear overnight. It usually takes a controlled effort to increase pokie addiction and gambling costs that dramatically.

December 2014 – Gladstone Still one of the State’s Gambling Hotspots. (image below from same article showing statistics for gambling in 2014)

gladstone gamblers put record amounts through the pokies

May 2015 – Punters in Gladstone lose $3 million in one month

Club Profits – But At What Cost?

As a means of returning money received from taxes on gaming revenue, each year the Queensland Government reinvests a portion of this money into community organisations – at least this is what is supposed to happen.

The issue isnt how much these Not-For-Profit clubs are investing but where they are investing it. According to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, at least 8% of pokie revenue (tax) received by the clubs must be inveested into the community to combat problem gambling and go towards harm minimisation…. Well at last check, the clubs of Victoria (for example) had given 0.1% of their pokie profits towards problem gambling and harm minimisation – the rest they spent on bigger venues and sporting fields to grow their own club and in turn encourage more gamblers to play their pokies.

Amazingly, the Victorian Gaming Commission approves this year in and year out – it seems the VCGLR are the ones with the biggest pokie addiction – Learn more about the extent of the corruption in Victoria HERE

evidence of how little the clubs help their community evidence of how little the clubs help their community

Gladstone Community Recipients

This round the lucky recipients included Boyne Island Tannum Sands Saints Aussie rules club ($30,000); Boyne Valley Canoe Association ($35,000); Canoe Point Outriggers ($32,000); Endeavour Foundation Gladstone in-home support ($1400); Gladstone Aussie rules club ($21,000); and, Gladstone Clay Target Club ($34,000).

The grant money will go towards constructing sheds, grandstands and purchasing equipment.

BITS Saints president Andrew McMahon said the money his club received will go towards putting in a new grandstand which he hopes will go a long way in helping the club secure the opportunity to host a grand final.

“Over the years we’ve built up a bit of war chest and we’ve been pretty smart with our money…and part of that is to keep knocking on doors,” Mr McMahon said.

“What we’re trying to do is provide seating and shade for our cricketing and footy families.

“It’s about being a bit more sun smart but we’re all volunteers here and everybody will be welcome to use the facilities,” he said.

President of Canoe Point Outriggers Scott Lowry said he would use his grant money to build a brand new shed for all of the clubs gear.

At the moment the club uses a garden shed with a few poles attached to hang the canoes off.

Although Mr Lowry has never had anything stolen from his garden shed, he said it would be nice to have somewhere much more secure to house his expensive gear.

“Not much has changed in 15 years€¦and everything is old,” he said. “It’ll be awesome because I had a look earlier and thought we missed out on the funding so when Glenn Butcher called it was pretty surprising.”

The member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said it was fantastic to be able to offer grants to local clubs.

“No matter what happens people play the pokies, and you can call it tainted, but if we can give some of that money back then we are more than happy to do that,” he said. “Saving up $34,000 selling chook raffles isn’t easy so this goes a long way to spending money where they really need it. – Funding like this helps keep community groups afloat and strengthens the commitment of volunteers who run these groups,” he said.

Is this the real face of clubsNSW and the other state owned Community clubs?

Is this the real face of clubsNSW and the other state owned Community clubs?


Mo’ Pokies Mo’ Problems Mo’ nash

A recent study conducted by the Herald Sun and subsequent article on revealed that since the pokies were introduced to Victoria in 1992, over $50 billion has been poured into them. That is an average of $2 billion Australian dollars being put into the pokies across Victoria every year for the last quarter of a century!

Monash Residents Doing Their Part

With pokie spend averaging around $2billion a year across the state of Victoria it is good to know the people of Monash are doing their part and contributing to keep that frightening average as high as it is – with recent figures from the Victoria Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) revealing that:

Poker machine players in Monash have lost $111.4million in in the first 6 months of 2016 – with losses averaging $9.3million each and every month

That makes Monash the sixth largest loser on poker machines of all local government areas in the state according to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation(VCGLR) although as we’ll discuss shortly, this ‘commission’ charged with policing the licensing and distribution of electronic gaming machines in Victoria seems to run on a culture of corruption and pokie greed. But first, let’s take a closer look at the town of Monash and where the money was lost.

Where The Money Went – Pokie Losses in Monash

Monash is home to 997 poker machines across 15 venues with punters losing out on the pokies at various venues and clubs – the most notable of all being:

  • Mulgrave Country Club's 105 machines €” $12.85 million.
  • Village Green Hotel in Mulgrave’s 79 machines – $11.53 million.
  • Matthew Flinders Tavern’s 75 machines – $11.47 million.
  • Vegas at Waverly Gardens’ 105 machines – $11 million.
City of Monash mayor Cr Geoff Lake
City of Monash mayor Cr Geoff Lake outside the Matthew Flinders Hotel where punters lost over $11 million on 75 poker machines

Monash Council approved a gambling policy opposing the transfer of slot machines to disadvantaged areas and advocacy on tougher gambling regulations.

Mayor Geoff Lake, who is also chairman of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, said the council would do anything to get off the list of biggest losers.

It (losses) disproportionately falls onto a small number of people who are most impacted by that burden especially in lower wealth households, Cr Lake said. It is an unconscionable that the state coffers and the private individuals and big corporations are profiting at the cost of many in out community. We can't put the genie back in the bottle but we can change the way the machines deceive and mislead people, put in spend limits … and have tougher approaches to poker machines.

Cr Lake said more than $2 billion had been lost in Monash €” the highest in the state €” since the introduction of poker machines two decades ago.

The various gambling venues and clubs that indirectly benefit from the tax revenue generated by this obscene pokie spend have also refused to give cash to community groups €” except the Waverley War Widows and Mothers Association – and even then only if they meet in venues home to gaming machines.

The council which led the Enough Pokies campaign in 2014, agreed to sign an open letter in support of gambling reforms at last month's council meeting.*

*Gambling Reforms that are being put back on the table thanks to Nick Xenophon and Andrew Wilkie – Learn more HERE


A Culture of Corruption Within The VCGLR?

A recent application by the Langwarrin Hotel in Beretta for 10 more pokies to be provided on the condition that the Hotel build a state of the art children’s playground on the premises was approved by the VCGLR prompting outrage from anti-gambling and pro-family groups – and rightly bloody so!

A report by Monash University academics Dr Charles Livingstone and Louise Francis released last year found 94% of pokies applications by pubs and clubs were approved by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation between July 2007 and June 2014. Dr Charles Livingstone said it seems the chances of obtaining an approval for pokies from the VCGLR are significantly higher than the odds stacked against pokies players.

We knew they approved a high proportion but we didn't realise it was that high, Dr Livingstone told

The review of VCGLR decisions, funded by the Municipal Association of Victoria, took about two years to compile and found 132 out of a total of 142 applications researched were approved.

We’ll leave you with this poignant reminder

how pokies work and why you cant win playing pokies

A New Lease on Life for Gambling Reform?

As the subject of pokies and gambling reform is put on the table we see a glimmer of hope. But with a history of practical reforms being thrown out and ignored by a government (who are actually more addicted to the pokies and assocaited tax revenue than any individual) it seems we are heading into yet another ‘Ground Hog Day’ of Australian pokies and gambling reform.

As Andrew Wilkie and Nick Xenophon join forces and vow to take their Anti-Pokies stance with them to the marginal seats in the next election (which experts say is less than 2 years away) it seems the “potent issue” of pokies and gambling reform will be more relevant and topical than ever before.
But with a history of practical reforms being thrown out and ignored by a government (who are actually more addicted to the pokies and assocaited tax revenue than any individual) it seems we are heading into yet another ‘Ground Hog Day’ of Australian pokies and gambling reform.

Original story and source:,-wilkie-to-take-pokies-fight-to-marginal-seats/7642218

Wilkie & Xenophon Join Forces – But Will Common Sense Prevail?

wilkie and xenophone join forces for pokie and gambling reform

The above image comes from the Lateline video interview of which you can view the whole thing –> HERE

Independents Nick Xenophon and Andrew Wilkie have warned the major parties they will start targeting marginal seats in their fight against gambling.

Senator Xenophon told Lateline that the next election could be just two years away and their campaign could make a difference, making the following comment to Lateline:

“This has to be seen as a marginal seats campaign to target those seats for the next election, which according to some reports could be only two years away, to actually make this an issue that will actually swing the outcome of seats in key electorates,”

It’s Not Like They Want to Blow Up The Pokies!

If you looked at how much money, time and energy the gambling lobbyists and those with ties to the revenue stream have invested over the last decade in continued attempts to quash the opinions of Wilkie and Xenophon you would think that maybe these two independent senators are trying to get rid of the pokies altogether. I could understand a drastic reaction to a request to ‘Blow Up The Pokies’ or something but the fact this has been the reaction when all these two have tried to do is apply common sense and logic to a growing problem so that the ‘pokies’ can remain.

Actually, the length and cost to which these companies will go says a lot about their commitment to grow problem gambling and the associated revenue in this country MoM and YoY.

Because what Andrew Wilkie and Nizk Xenophon are proposing is actually a great idea and is undeniably the most logical and well thought out way forward – the mere fact our own government keeps rejecting these proposals is evidence enough that the corruption and greed of pokie tax has long but blinded our government and effectively bound their hands from ever doing anything positive or constructive.

Thankfully Mr Wilkie and Mr Xenophon can still see clearly and have not been corrupted by the money streams and power players because their suggestions are quite…BRILLIANT.

Senator Xenophon and Mr Wilkie Want:

  • a $1 bet limit on poker machines – This is not the first time this proposal has been put forward – the last few times it was rejected by a government too interested in the revenue stream and not even mildly concerned about the long term impact it would have (See our History of the $1 Betting Limit article –> HERE)
  • A ban on gambling ads during sports broadcasts. –> INterestingly this does not include casino advertising as they can advertise their food and hotel business features without mentioning the casino floor. This is a BULLSHIT loophole as most casino names are affilited with gambling and the connection is naturally made anyway.
  • They also want to reinstate a joint select committee on gambling reform. – One that is not easily corrupted or bought out!

“There’s one thing the gambling lobby can’t compete with no matter how many millions they pour into the campaign, the fact is there are literally hundreds and thousands of Australians hurt by gambling addictions,” he said. “Conservatively, one in 10 Australians are being affected by gambling addiction in this country and that’s a very significant constituency that can’t be ignored.”

Mr Wilkie said political donations from big gaming companies should be scrutinised.

“We need reform of political donations generally and we need to do what we can to shine a light with the current laws with where the money’s coming from and where it’s going,” he said.

Follow this story and the ensuing changes that are or not implemented through our community gambling blog

Woolworths: Hating on Australian Families Since… Pokies.

Anti-poker machine campaigners have slammed supermarket giant Woolworths for introducing a frequent gambling rewards card for poker machines in its string of pokie pubs.

Woolworths’ move is in direct response to government calls for harm minimisation measures to prevent problem gambling – but in typical corporate greed fashion, Woolworths have turned it around to serve their own best interests, effectively mocking the growing problems associated with pokie addiction and reaffirming their position as Anti-Family and pokie friendly


Fly Buys Card For Pokies?!

anti pokies campaigner Nick Xenophon thinks woolsworth hate australiansIn December, the ALH Group, which is 96 per cent owned by Woolworths, will roll out the Monty’s Reward card in Victoria and Queensland as its “voluntary pre-commitment” measure, after it was piloted in New South Wales.

Independent senator Nick Xenophon branded Woolworths’ decision as cynical.

“What was meant to be a harm minimisation measure has been turned by Woolworths into a harm-exacerbation measure by using this card,” he said. “This isn’t so much a loyalty card as an addiction card.”

This comes off the back of whatever Woolworths and the ALH Group have just done – because I am sure it’s not good. The Fresh Food people are slowly being known as the Pokies people, and if their penchant for pokies profits continues to come at the expense of the people then maybe it’s time we all paid a visit to our local Coles 😉

Woolworths Pre-Commitment Fly-Buys Card Summary

If the following summary of what the ALH group is doing and where its priorities lie as we move toward 2017 doesn’t say everything you need to know about these people then you’re blinder than Stevie Wonder!

  • Woolworths to roll out reward card as its “voluntary pre-commitment” measure
  • But anti-pokies campaigners say it is “essentially Fly Buys for gambling”
  • Woolworths plans to target children as a way to drive sales in its pokie pubs

The card, designed by poker machine manufacturer Bally Technologies, allows marketing messages to be flashed up on the gambler’s machine as they play, meaning they can order drinks from the machine without interrupting play.

Anti-pokies campaigner Paul Bendat agreed the card is “essentially a Fly Buys for gambling”. “You sign up for a card, you give them a bunch of your personal details and every time you gamble on one of their poker machines, you insert the card,” Mr Bendat said.

Pre-Commitment Shhermitment

“[Voluntary pre-commitment] is the cornerstone of the harm-minimisation policy of the current Victorian Government, ALP, and the past Coalition.
“[This card] is entirely counterproductive. There is no morality in it.”

Buried at the end of the card’s brochure is a paragraph on voluntary pre-commitment – which means the gambler has the option to limit their spending – however, the pre-commitment only lasts for 24 hours.

The Victorian Government has announced it will roll out general pre-commitment technology in December.

But the Victorian Government is Just as Corrupt as The VGCLR, the gambling industry itself and the Federal Govt. that oversees it all.

Australian Gambling statistics
Woolies and the ALH don’t care what your odds are – Just keep playing OK

Both Woolworths and the Victorian Gaming Minister, Jane Garrett, argue that the card is more appealing to punters because it is more “discreet” and had less “stigma” than a stand-alone pre-commitment card. Ms Garrett (who is clearly an idiot and blinded by the corruption of pokie revenue like the rest of our government) made the following (totally moronic and contradictory) statement:

“People like loyalty programs. They like them at their coffee shops, they like them on their plane trips, they like them at their local restaurants – of themselves, loyalty programs are not bad,”

Contradictory Much?!

Jane Garrett Victorian Gaming Minister
Jane Garrett Victorian Gaming Minister

When asked whether encouraging people to gamble more through a rewards card and harm minimisation in poker machines were completely contradictory, Ms Garrett said loyalty programs had “different roles for different people”.
“I’m not tarnishing all of those people who work in this industry and all of the people who enjoy going out to venues and taking their kids out to dinner,” she said.

Senator Xenophon was astonished the Victorian Government had supported such a scheme.

“This is effectively a Trojan horse for more addiction. And the Victorian Government is busy dragging the horse through the gates,” Senator Xenophon said.

There are 328 Woolies-owned pubs across Australia, and of the 73 in Melbourne all but one have poker machines.

WoolWorths – Anti-Family & Pro-Pokies

The move comes aswoolworths owned pubs are anti-family as they encourage children and pokies Woolworths, a company which has always marketed itself as proudly family-friendly, has announced to the stock market that it plans to target children as a way to drive sales in its pokie pubs. Wait! What?! Dafuq??!

Buried in the analyst’s report in Woolworths’ company results, released on August 28, is a commitment in its ALH Group section to “promotional offers like kids eat free to drive food sales”.

A visit to those pubs reveals “Kids Clubs”, “kids eat free nights” and children’s entertainment advertised on billboards and online.

The pubs also offer playgrounds for children…. Like THIS ONE AT LANGWARRIN HOTEL – Where owner Peter Beretta agreed to build a brand new childrens playground in exchange for 10 new pokie machines.



Pokies and Children – No Woolworths, Just No.

While Woolworths has previously committed to separating the children’s playgrounds and dining rooms from the pokie floors, 7.30 discovered that they were actually right next to each other in some pubs.

Partially-opaque glass walls did not hide the poker machines and their flashing lights from view from the play equipment and dining rooms.

“This is an immersive experience for young children that normalises gambling,” Mr Bendat said.
“And there’s nothing more powerful than seeing your parents gamble, seeing the grandpas and grandmas that they may observe in the poker machine room.”

Allison Keogh grew up with a mother who started having the odd flutter on the pokies at her local club, but became a full-time problem gambler.

“[Marketing to children in pokie venues] really turns my stomach, because everything to me points to the fact that they are actually the opposite of family friendly – they are separators of family,” Ms Keogh said.

Ms Keogh spent hours nearly every night of the week in the kids’ room at her local club in NSW.

“I still refer to that environment or that room as ‘the jail with pink walls’ – that’s what we called it, that’s what it felt like,” she said.

“Things like homework, dinner time conversation, things like that just didn’t happen.
I do remember a time when my father walked into the kids’ room and found us asleep on the floor and as he picked me up, I woke up, and he muttered ‘this is no life for a kid’.”

pokies and children do not mix but try telling that to ALH

…Cause Woolworths sure as shit aren’t going to!

ALH and Woolworths had this to say:

In a statement to 7.30, ALH said the customers with a Monty’s card “can access and use pre-commitment functionality with or without participating in the venue loyalty system”.
“In this way, customers can access pre-commitment functionality discreetly and without any negative stigma.
“ALH are proud to operate family friendly hotels. We restrict gaming room access to adults and ensure gaming rooms are screened or separated from other areas of the hotel.
“The pre-commitment functionality assists our customers to gamble responsibly by nominating spend and, or time limits on electronic gaming machines.
“Pre-commitment settings can be set at the hotel or via the internet. Voluntary pre-commitment and responsible gambling dynamic messaging will also appear on screen.”

Ms Garrett said her Government had introduced strict ministerial guidelines for new venues about separation of pokie floors and playgrounds and were auditing existing venues.

She agreed that some of the descriptions of the Woolworths pubs breached those guidelines.

Our Thoughts…

Here at OnlinePokies Australia we think that the description of Woolworths in general has breached the guidelines of honesty and ethics – and as such it is with great pleasure that I introduce a name more synonymous with the actions and deeds of Woolworths Limited…. Oh and for the record, no I did not make this – but the fact I searched for Woolies Pokie People and got thousands of awesome banners and title images to use within moments speaks volumes for how their reputation precedes them.

woolworths australias pokie people

Australians Are The World’s Biggest Gamblers – And That’s a Problem

Australian’s penchant for pokies has taken us from the lucky country to the unluckiest country in the world, with alarming gambling statistics that put us so far ahead of the rest of the world it would make your head spin.

Australia’s Gambling Addiction Stats

The most recent Australian Gambling Statistics place the average spend at nearly double the US (and close to triple the rest of the world) – see the image below or for further information and more supporting facts about the state of gambling in Australia and the associated issues pokie addiction has on this country – or visit and see first hand how bad it really is around here.

Australian Gambling statistics 2016

Visit for further evidence and supporting data surrounding Australia’s Gambling epidemic and the growing problems associated with Pokies

Gambling Isn’t So Bad – It’s The Pokies You Have To Be Wary of!

The problems associated with gambling in Australia are 100% attributed to the pokies – and sadly this is only perpetuated by a Government that is blinded by the 20 Billion plus they make every year in associated tax revenue (source and supporting data) – and just in case you think I’m just saying this because I don’t like offline pokies you are dead wrong! The image below shows how alarming the pokie problem is – and if you follow the above link to the source and supporting data you will see (sadly) why these figures are not going to improve anytime soon.

australia gambing spend and pokies statistics


Laura’s Story

Laura began gambling on slot machines, or pokies as they are known in Australia, when she was 20 years old. Within a few months she was hooked. “I loved it but it didn’t love me back,” says Laura, not her real name, a wobble of emotion in her voice. She is now 25.

At her peak she was losing about A$5,000 ($3,650; £2,350) a month. “It would be basically all the money I had until my last dollar was gone.”

Laura had a decent job but she would pour all of her salary into the pokies and then borrow from friends and relatives to gamble more. “I lost my relationship. I lost my job. I went to pretty desperate measures to fund my gambling.”

Laura is Far From Alone…

Laura is far from alone. Australians are officially the world’s biggest gamblers, with each adult losing on average more than A$1,380 a year.

That is double the amount lost by Americans and almost three times as much as the British.

“Australians lose more per head than any other country in the world,” says Dr Sally Gainsbury from the Centre for Gambling Research at Southern Cross University.

“Australia definitely has a gambling problem,” she says.

“One percent of adults have a serious gambling problem which is actually a clinical disorder. Four percent of adults have moderate gambling problems and eight percent a low range of gambling problems.”

That means it is estimated there are a staggering half a million Australians at risk from problem gambling.

Original Source and further reading:

The Hypnotism of Pokies

By far the biggest problem is pokies and/orslot machines, of which there are more than 200,000 across Australia. (This accounts for over 20% of the worlds gaming machines FYI)

“Pokies are the biggest revenue generator,” says Dr Gainsbury. “Around two-thirds of all gambling losses are through the pokies and in Australia that amounts to around A$9.8bn a year.”

It is incredibly easy to gamble in Australia. There are pokies in just about every pub or bar.

Many pubs contain betting shops, where punters are able to gamble and drink at the same time, and there’s nearly always a handily placed cash machine near by, often even in the pub itself.

“My partner used to say it was like I was hypnotised,” says Laura.

“I was chasing the adrenalin of having a big win. There was just something about the lights and the sounds of the pokie machines. I would just crave it.”

Laura, now a university student who hasn’t gambled for more than a year since joining Gamblers Anonymous, says she knew the odds were against her but she just couldn’t stop herself.

Matthew ‘Lied to their faces’ and Lost Everything

Matthew shares his own story and how the struggle was real…

“I knew exactly what time I got paid and I lost all that money before I even left the office,” says Matthew, again not his real name, a 35-year-old IT worker.

Matthew became hooked on amateur online trading sites, speculating on shares and currencies.

He first noticed he had a problem not because of the losses but because of the amount of time he was wasting at work researching the markets.

But soon he says he was losing more money than many people make in a year; tens of thousands of dollars.

“I lost a relationship, my fiancee. The relationship I had with my mum went down the drain,” Matthew says.

“The thing that got most people was that I lied to their faces about where I was and about my money situation.”

The Social Cost of Gambling

Most compulsive gamblers have similar stories to tell.

“In terms of social costs, it is estimated that problem gambling costs A$4.7bn each year,” says Dr Gainsbury.

“Gambling is something that affects not just the individual but the people around them. We’re talking family breakdown, unemployment, work disruption and then things you can’t even put a price on like suicide.”

With such a heavy social cost you would think the government would be keen to do something about it. You would be wrong.

“Gambling taxes are one of the single largest sources of income for the state and territory governments,” says Dr Gainsbury.

“It’s estimated that in 2014-15 they’ll get almost A$5.9bn from gambling [in taxes]. This is over 10% of total tax revenue for some of the states.”

And if anything, gambling is growing in Australia.