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We've not heard a peep from Woolies..

Woolworths trades daily on its community values, while its 12,000 poker machines devastate Australian families.

And despite 51,000 Australians calling out this hypocrisy, Woolworths is refusing to front up.

There are so many questions that Woolworths are doing their best to dodge:

  • Is Woolworths aware of recent revelations that its poker machines are misleading and deceptive, and may breach Australian consumer law?
  • What thought has Woolworths given to the brand risks associated with its poker machine investments?
  • Would Woolworths consider measures that would make its poker machines safer and con-free?
Will you help flood Woolworths' customer service now with emails demanding answers about their questionable poker machine investments?
As the majority shareholder in the Australian Leisure and Hospitality (ALH) Group, Woolies operate 328 licensed venues across Australia. Woolworths operates over 12,000 poker machines in these Woolies-owned hotels. This makes Woolworths Australia's largest owner of poker machines.

Find it hard to believe? Here's a screenshot from the FAQ section of the Woolworths Limited website:



In 2012, GetUp members chipped in to fund a report that estimated the total net gambling revenue generated by Woolies poker machines in 2010-11 at $1.29 billion.

Woolies have not been forthcoming with reporting their profits from poker machines:

GetUp members caused a stir last week at the Woolworths' Annual General Meeting. Working with the Alliance for Gambling Reform, we got our special 'Woolworths: Gambling with Lives' Green Bags into the hands of shareholders and delivered our 51K-strong petition to Woolworths' Company Secretary.

Check out the action below!

Woolworths logos with permanent marker scrawled over them, caption reads Woolies Rebrand What better time for a company rebrand! Fresh food people? More like 'The Pokies People'. Parody Woolworths Green Bags, caption reads Green Bags GetUp members get our free 'Woolworths: Gambling With Lives' Green Bags into the hands of shareholders as they enter the AGM! Allison talking to a journalist with a Channel 7 microphone, people holding signs in the background, caption reads Media Frenzy Allison Keogh shares her story with reporters. Allison grew up in a family devastated by her mother's poker machine addiction. Allison handing over the petition to Woolworths executive, caption reads Petition Delivery And it's in! Allison hands over our 51K-strong petition to Woolworths' Company Secretary, Richard Dammery. Crowd holding signs and chanting, caption reads People Not Profits Television cameras soak up the action as the empassioned crowd chants 'People Over Pokies' and 'Stop the Con'.
Industry whistleblowers broke the silence on poker machines this year, in explosive documentary Ka-Ching! Pokie Nation. Ka-Ching! went inside the machines to show how addictive technologies are used to keep people playing well beyond their means.

For too long the pokies industry has deflected attention away from its machines, targeting the "irresponsible gamblers" who play them.

Here are some of the tricks that were exposed by industry insiders in Ka-Ching!:

  • Poker machines are custom built for "process addiction". The machines trigger positive chemical responses in the brain with features such as sound, light and animation. Neuroscientists compared these responses to those triggered by cocaine.

  • Poker machines manipulate the user through techniques like "losses disguised as wins". This is when a user is fed some winning lines, which are celebrated as a win with bright lights and loud noises, when they've actually experienced a net loss.

  • Another misleading and deceptive technique is the use of "near misses", where the reel of the machine is laid out to mislead the user into thinking they've only just missed out on a win. These appear on some machines 13 times more often than they would if the reels were left to chance.
GetUp members are working with Tim Costello and the Alliance for Gambling Reform on 'The Pokies Play You' campaign.

The Alliance is a collaboration of organisations with a shared concern about the deeply harmful and unfair impacts of gambling. It includes more than 40 local governments, churches and community groups. GetUp is joining forces with the Alliance for Gambling Reform on 'The Pokies Play You' campaign.

Together, we intend to hold to account the people who make, control and regulate these machines – from Woolworths, the largest poker machine owner in the country, to government ministers, many of whom sit cosily in the pockets of the gaming industry.

Follow this link to learn more about 'The Pokies Play You' campaign and the Alliance for Gambling Reform: http://www.pokiesplayyou.org.au/

Will you write to customer service?

Together, we can drive the message home: if Woolies wants to be a choice brand for Aussie families, they'd best start listening to them.

Tip: if you shop at Woolworths, you may want to mention that in your email. It's the job of customer service to take customer concerns seriously.

Hit "Add" to insert the talking point into your email

Woolies cultivates a family-friendly brand, while their poker machines destroys the lives of many and tears Australian families apart. Does Woolworths consider this contradiction a brand risk? Should Woolworths endeavour to do better for Australian families?
As a self-proclaimed responsible operator of poker machines, Woolworths has an opportunity to show industry leadership. Would Woolworths consider exploring measures that would make its poker machines safer and con-free?
Industry whistleblowers broke the silence on poker machines last month, to show how design tricks are used to keep people playing well beyond their means. Is Woolworths aware of recent revelations that its poker machines are misleading and deceptive?
At last week's AGM, Woolworths Company Secretary Richard Dammery accepted our petition, signed by 51K Australian shoppers. We're yet to hear any response to our concerns about the addictive design of Australian poker machines, including those operated by Woolworths.
Law firm Maurice Blackburn have flagged that poker machines, including those owned by Woolies, may breach consumer law because they are designed to deceive users and encourage addictive behaviour. What thought has Woolworths given to the deceptive design of its machines?
NB: Your details will be added to the bottom of the email sent.