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Doctors speak out against pokies

Wednesday 19 July

AMA Victoria, led by Dr Tony Bartone, has spoken out against the pokies industry which is arguing that tax increases for pokie venues will cost jobs.

“Gambling causes significant damage throughout Victorian communities,” AMA Victoria President, Dr Tony Bartone, said this morning. 

“While the banks would see the culmination of financial ruin and house foreclosures, GPs see the health impact that gambling has on addicts and also their partners and kids.

“We are talking about anxieties, tension and worries for the partners. The stresses that are associated with gambling, the financial ruin, the family breakdown, the fear – all of this can lead to mental health problems, including depression.

“AMA Victoria opposes any moves that would see the pokie industry tighten its grip on the community.

“They can argue as much as they want that money from the Clubs goes back to the community - but this is degenerative when you consider the overall cost to the community and the devastation that gambling can cause. 

“Higher taxes on pokie venues and betting limits work as deterrents. It is the same as taxes on cigarettes – we can’t ban them, but they cause a hell of a lot of damage,” Dr Bartone said.

  • Australia has the seventh highest number of poker machines in the world.
  • Every year, $12 billion is gambled into these machines.
  • Victoria has around 27,000 pokies
  • Outside of Crown Casino, between July 1 last year and the end of May 2014 Victorians lost $2.3 billion on poker machines.

Media contact
Felicity Ryan
Mobile: 0437 450 506

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