Gambling harm a public health issue

A jar with 100 dollar notes rolled up inside. Sits beside a caculator, a pencil and a piece of paper with numbers on it.

Anglicare Tasmania has joined a community sector call for all candidates and parties to commit to making poker machines safer.

General Manager Housing and Community Services Noel Mundy explained that we know through our research and support services that poker machines in particular cost many people their health, relationships, jobs and homes.

“Anglicare supports the introduction of additional consumer protection measures, and the removal of poker machines from pubs and clubs,” he said.

“It’s clearly a public health issue that requires a public health approach.”


Poker machines can be made safer by introducing:

  • $1 bet limits
  • slower spin speeds
  • prohibition of ‘losses disguised as wins’
  • smaller jackpots
  • higher return to players
  • reduced opening hours for poker machine venues
  • mandatory staff intervention when harm is occurring.


Did you know?

  • Tasmanians lose around $500,000 to poker machines every day
  • Half of all losses come from people who are addicted or at-risk gamblers – and at least 27,000 Tasmanians fall into this category
  • There are 3,526 poker machines in Tasmania
  • Currently, people can lose up to $600 per hour
  • The cost to Tasmania of gambling harm is estimated to be $100 million a year, 80% of which is caused by ‘pokies’
  • One in three Tasmanians personally know someone seriously harmed by pokies
  • Only one in 10 people addicted to pokies seek help.


Further information:

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