Changes in Victorian Pokies Legislation for Pubs and Clubs

Throughout the last 10 years or so, there has been a number of restrictions on the way Victorian pubs and clubs have been allowed to advertise pokie signage. In March, 2013, Victoria’s State Government concluded that this restriction should be lifted. The ban on pokies signage had initially been planned out by the Steve Bracks Government in 2003, in an attempt to fight problem gambling. Then, in 2005, they changed the legislation to allow Tabaret signage to be displayed, in addition to the Tatts Pokies logo.

The Victorian Government has made some new amendments to legislation relating to pokie signage in pubs and clubs.

The new Victorian pokies legislation enables venue operators to use signage with dimensions of up to 2 metres squared. The new law also stipulates that signs should not contain any decoration or illumination, and they must be situated on a background with one single colour. The legislation was bought in by Gaming Minister Michael O’Brien, and some commentators have noted that the only structures which are man made that will be seen from space are the “Great Wall of China and pokie machine signs”. Tim Costello has also been quite vocal, suggesting that the new legislation is one step in the wrong direction for gambling in Victoria, stating that “smoking signs are allowed either, which is also a form of addiction.”

Mr Costello also said that allowing this type is advertorial signage is a public health disaster for Victoria. Others who are neutral on the matter gambling in clubs and pubs have said that removal signage will not solve any problems, and that having pokies themselves in pubs and clubs are already enough to advertise and lure willing participants. He also stated that gamblers with programs relating to pokie addiction will go to any place where they can play – regardless of the amount of signage displayed. The best thing to do is to remember to be as careful as possible, and to always gamble responsibly.

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