In Tasmania, business owners are taking a stand against problem gambling rates and the rising number of poker machines in the area. They have launched a new campaign aimed at making pokies ‘uncool’ by welcoming patrons into venues that do not host the gaming machines.
Stickers have been printed with the phrase “We’re Pokies Free!”, and business owners will be posting them in their windows inform patrons. The aim is to attract patrons who are looking to venture on a night out without depending on pokies to have fun. Supporters of the campaign believe that it will not only discourage individuals from playing pokies; it will also create a niche market for groups looking to have gambling-free fun.
The local government, however, is not on board with the plan. While the Tasmanian Small Business Council does want to see a reduction in the number of poker machines in the area, it does not believe that it should be up to local residents to fight the industry. Some groups have stated that it is “not the role of individual councils to legislate on pokies”.
We are eager to see whether or not the sticker campaign is here to stay.