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Christmas, brought to you by Woolworths

BANNED: Channel 9 is refusing to run our new TV ad exposing Woolworths as Australia's largest poker machine owner.

Why? Because "Woolworths are a key business partner". This is corporations banding together to stop us from exposing the truth about Woolies poker machines, designed to addict.

Check out the ad Channel 9 won't let you see, then chip in to get it on other networks and in local cinemas.

Few people realise that Woolworths is Australia's largest operator of poker machines – which is why GetUp members are hijacking Woolies' multi-million dollar Christmas campaign.

Chip in $25 or more to receive a free 'Woolworths: Gambling with Lives' Green Bag

These special revamped shopping bags were a huge hit at the Woolies AGM a few weeks ago. Even the shareholders were scrambling to get their hands on one. Chip in $25, plug in your address and we'll pop one in the post for you!

Woolworths is exploiting the sense of family that the holiday season brings while its poker machines betray those same families every day. Together, we can expose the hypocrisy.

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:

On Thursday 26 November 2015, GetUp members rallied outside the Woolworths Annual General Meeting. There, we presented our 51,000-strong petition calling for con-free poker machines to Chief Legal Officer and Company Secretary Richard Dammery. There was no response.

After 2500+ GetUp members followed up, writing into Woolworths customer service demanding answers, we received the following. Clearly Woolworths are not listening very hard since nothing in their letter addresses the misleading and addictive design of Woolworths-owned poker machines.

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.


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