The Australian Christian Lobby has warned for many years of the dangers posed by poker machines in Australia. The ACL supports the recent call by Rev. Tim Costello for all state and territory governments to keep pokies switched off for good.

“Reverend Costello is absolutely right, this is a once in a lifetime moment,” ACL Chief Political Officer Dan Flynn said today, “Pokies have sucked the life out of problem gamblers and reduced the strength of our communities. Public venues are now reeling from closure due to social isolation. We need them to rebound strongly for the sake of both community and the economy.”

Rev. Costello points out an ACT plan to grant venues $15,000 for every pokie surrendered, and the ACL calls on all states and territories to put pokies out of business.

“When community life emerges from our COVID-19 slumber, what do we want filled - the gaming lounges, or the dining rooms?” Mr Flynn asked.

“Now is time to press a hard reset on pokies, and make a fresh, positive start to community life.”