They've been called "electronic morphine" and "the crack cocaine of gambling". Ever wonder what makes Pokies so addictive? Ka-Ching! Pokie Nation takes you inside the machine to find out. In this ground-breaking expose, industry insiders break the silence around this highly secretive industry to explain how Pokies are rigged to keep you hooked. Learn from world-leading neuroscientists how Pokies work on the deepest levels of our brains. And see how our governments have become the biggest addicts of all.
How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?
Poker machine addiction is a key public health crisis in Australia. In Australia, 100,000 people are addicted to pokie machines, with over 200,000 more at risk. Every person who becomes addicted to Pokies negatively affects the wellbeing of seven other people.
Pokie machine addiction is significantly correlated with higher rates of suicide, mental illness, homelessness and family violence. Poker machine addiction is also a key social justice issue for Australians, as poorer postcodes have the most machines and lose the most money. This means that pokie machines entrench and reinforce social disadvantage.
Ka-Ching! Pokie Nation presents a powerful case that Pokie machines are programmed to be addictive. In doing so, it reframes the way we view "problem gambling", shifting the focus off the "problematic" individuals and onto the predatory machine design.
What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?
Aims & Objectives
Ka-Ching! Pokie Nation aims to raise awareness of how pokie machines are programmed for addiction. In doing so, the film radically reframes how we view "problem gambling", shifting the blame from individuals with "problems" to the deliberately addictive design of these machine. Not only will this open a national conversation about Pokie design, it will also help pokie addicts to stop viewing their addiction as a personal failing, a framing which results in intense feelings of shame and self-loathing, a major contributor to the high suicide rate among addicted gamblers.
What is your education and outreach strategy?
Following the ABC broadcast and i-view window, the film will be opened up for community screenings around Australia. These screenings will be followed by Q&As with community organisers and former gamblers, helping to engage community members with the issue and learn how it affects their local area. Many of these screenings will be held in disadvantaged communities, as the most machines and biggest losses can be found in poorer postcodes.
We are also seeking funds to screen the film and open a dialogue with key influencers and stake-holders in the pokies space, include government.
Finally, we are fundraising to create educational resources mapped to the school PDHPE curriculum. Pokies addiction is a critical public health concern in Australia affecting people of all ages, and education is key to harm reduction.
We strongly encourage you to contribute to this important campaign. No donation is too small.