Pokies off after midnight: Calls to introduce poker machine curfew

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Pressure is mounting to have venues power down poker machines after midnight as support for the gambling industry in NSW continues to wane.

Wesley Mission’s latest Community Attitudes on Gambling Reform survey, released today, found 83 per cent of respondents wanted to see pokies shut off between midnight and 10am in NSW.

There are approximately 87,000 poker machines in operation across the state, according to Wesley Mission.

Pressure is mounting to have venues power down poker machines after midnight as support for the gambling industry in NSW continues to wane. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The results are in line with previous surveys conducted last October and May, which showed 82 per cent and 83 per cent of respondents were in favour of poker machine curfews, respectively. 

Wesley Mission chief executive Rev. Stu Cameron said the findings reflect growing public concern about the impacts of late-night gambling.

“The community couldn’t be clearer and for the government, it couldn’t be simpler to deliver on this reform,” Cameron said.

“We believe powering down pokies from midnight to 10am would have an immediate and profound impact in significantly reducing gambling harm.”

Cameron said people who attended pubs and clubs after midnight were most vulnerable.

“While the government is to be commended for enforcing the poker machine signage ban last year, the community remain clearly frustrated with the pace of reform,” he said.

“They want to see more prompt action to reduce gambling harm and address this serious public health issue.”

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