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Gambling, General News

Shoot and share – it’s a sign of the times

Wesley Mission 2 mins read

 

Media release                                                          30 August 2023

Shoot and share – it’s a sign of the times

With one day to go until the ban on pokies signage in New South Wales is enforced, Wesley Mission is doing a shout out to people to ‘shoot (photograph) ‘n’ share’ images of venues in breach of the new laws and those that are perilously close.

Wesley Mission CEO and leading gambling reform advocate, Rev Stu Cameron says the ‘shoot ‘n’ share’ initiative is in support of the Government’s steps towards gambling reform and reducing gambling harm.

“The Minister for Gaming & Racing, David Harris, is to be congratulated for enforcing the regulation and encouraging the public to report breaches of poker -machine related signage outside pubs and clubs. This Friday 1 September 2023, we are urging people to open their eyes and their camera and take a wander around their neighbourhood or ‘workhood’ and shoot ‘n’ share signage that may be in breach. 

They can report the breach to Liquor and Gaming by quickly and easily clicking the link:

https://investmentnsw.tfaforms.net/4634132  and then can post and share on social media any pictures* of illegal signage they see using the hashtags: #SignOfTheTimes #PutPokiesInTheirPlace”

Wesley Mission works at the coal face of gambling harm and counsellors report clients suffering from a gambling disorder are often triggered by colourful flashing signage.

Cameron says, “People in NSW have been conditioned for years to recognise venues containing pokies with signage that doesn’t explicitly indicate their presence, but which everyone nevertheless recognises.

“There’s an increase in public anger towards the industry as it begins to find new ways to indicate the presence of EGMs (flashing red and gold animated signs saying “open til 4am’ etc)

“The industry will continue to push the regulation as far as it can stretch with an $11,000 fine a cost they can wear when a pub has 30 machines bringing in $150,000 plus a year.

“What gives hope and is a real sign of the times, is that the debate on poker machine reform in New South Wales has shifted over the last 12 months.  It’s no longer a gambling-industry led debate about so-called ‘problem gamblers’ but a community-led debate about a problem industry. It’s time to Put Pokies in their Place.”

* When posting images of breaches on social media, people are urged to avoid including pedestrians in the image, and try to get both the pokies sign and the venue name in the one picture if possible

ENDS

Wesley Mission provides practical care and support for more than 130,000 people annually in NSW and across Australia, including help for people experiencing homelessness, local community action groups preventing suicide, and gambling and financial counselling among more than 120 programs. www.wesleymission.org.au

Rev Stu Cameron is available for interview.

Media contact: Anne Holt on 0418 628 342 or anne.holt@wesleymission.org.au

GambleAware help line 1800 858 858 | Lifeline 13 11 14

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