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Pokies. You're being played.

New ad campaign by Wesley Mission demanding real gambling reform

With less than 10 days to go until the NSW state election, Wesley Mission has launched their powerful new ad campaign for gambling reform – Pokies. You’re being played – calling for the people of NSW to make a stand for gambling reform. 

With the future of gambling in pubs and clubs a key election issue, Wesley Mission is shining a light on the real gambling problem – the poker machines systematically designed to cause mass loss and harm.

Funded by generous donors, the ad campaign aims to raise awareness about the insidious way poker machines are designed to create addiction and generate a sense of outrage at the harm they cause. The campaign’s call to action is for the people of NSW to make a stand and demand real gambling reform from the next NSW government.

Wesley Mission CEO Rev Stu Cameron says the ad campaign is the first step in a long-term plan for Wesley Mission to continue advocating for essential reforms to prevent gambling harm.

“The major parties have committed to some poker machine reforms, and now we want them to deliver on more meaningful change. We’ll be calling for the people of NSW to support sensible and proportionate reforms to poker machines in NSW by joining the movement and writing to their local MP,” says Stu.

“When it comes to gambling and the use of poker machines, Australia is home to a shameful array of statistics, particularly in NSW,” says Stu. “In 2022, people in NSW lost $8 billion to poker machines. It is the highest rate of loss, per person, anywhere in the world.

“Wesley Mission knows all too well the impact of gambling harm in NSW. We see the immense hardship faced by individuals and families affected by problem gambling and the ripple effect of gambling harm across communities.”  

Together, we can act to prevent and reduce gambling harm.



In the lead-up to the March 2023 NSW Election Wesley Mission and a broad-based coalition of concerned supporters have campaigned on five key gambling reform measures

  1. Implement universal cashless gambling with harm reduction measures built in.
  2. Power down poker machines after midnight.
  3. Fund an independent State-wide self-exclusion register.
  4. Let communities have a say.
  5. Greater transparency in NSW – publish venue data.

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.

Rev Stu Cameron is available for interview.

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