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You don't play the pokies, they play you

Industry whistleblowers broke the silence on poker machines last week, in explosive documentary Ka-Ching! Pokie Nation.

Composers, mathematicians and animators went on the record to reveal the truth: you don't play the pokies, the pokies play you.

With few politicians willing to speak out against this multi-billion dollar industry, it's up to us to stop the con.

We'll be working with Tim Costello and the Alliance for Gambling Reform, who have all the expertise we need to take on the pokies industry. All that's missing is a grassroots movement to back them in.

Will you sign onto the petition to get the pokies con out of our communities and our politics?
For too long the pokies industry has deflected attention away from its machines, targeting the "irresponsible gamblers" who play them. Ka-Ching! went inside the machines to show how addictive technologies are used to keep people playing well beyond their means.
Keen to share with friends or watch the whole thing again? Or did you miss out altogether? Ka-Ching! Pokie Nation is available on ABC iview for the next two weeks. Click here to check it out.

So what next?

We're working with Tim Costello and the Alliance for Gambling Reform, who have all the 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.

If we can build enough power together in coming weeks, GetUp members will work closely with the Alliance for Gambling Reform to uncover the truth about poker machines. Together we'll:
  1. Blow the lid off the gambling industry by exposing how poker machines are designed to keep people playing and fuel addiction
  2. Shame companies profiting from pokies addiction, costing them customers and investors
  3. Take on the poker machine industry in the courts.
Then, when we've demonstrated the deliberate, misleading conduct of the pokies industry, we'll take the fight to Parliament House, to the doorsteps of our MPs and senators.

GetUp is joining forces with the Alliance for Gambling Reform on 'The Pokies Play You' campaign. Read more about the Alliance in the drop-down link below.
The Alliance for Gambling Reform 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.

Follow this link to learn more about 'The Pokies Play You' campaign and the Alliance for Gambling Reform:
Poker machines are mathematically programmed to return around 90% of the money put in – put in $10, get back $9; then put in your $9 and get back $8.10, and so on. This means, the more you play, the more you lose, until users are left with nothing.

Revelations about poker machine design have shown how machines are custom built for "process addiction", triggering positive chemical responses in the brain. Users are awarded with sounds and animations to reinforce "desirable" behaviours.

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 technique is "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.

With almost 200,000 poker machines in Australia, generating billions in revenue every year, pokies represent a ruthless transfer of wealth from ordinary Australians ensnared by addictive technologies, to the gaming industry and government.

Fed up with your community being conned by an industry built on addiction? Let's stop the pokies con.


Australians deserve con-free poker machines, that aren't designed to addict or rigged to lose over time. Get the pokies con out of our communities and our politics.

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