WA Survey reveals the public do not want Pokies in pubs and clubs

by Noah Taylor Last Updated
New Zealand city wants tougher pokies restrictions

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett does not always have the public’s support but there is one issue where he certainly does. The ban on poker machines in WA pubs and clubs.

The message was loud and clear with more than 70 per cent of the 8832 people who answered The Sunday Times/ PerthNow WA Speaks survey. The thumbs down was given to the idea of introducing gambling to WA pubs and clubs with less than 20 per cent supported the idea.

Racing and Gaming Minister Colin Holt and Mr Barnett strictly ruled out allowing pokies to be operated outside of Crown Casino in June and it would seem most people agree with their decision.

The breakdown of the sexes revealed that men were more inclined to say yes to the proposal than women, with 24.9 per cent of males giving it the nod of approval compared to 14.1 per cent of women.

Of all the age brackets surveyed, it was the 21 to 30 age group that showed the most enthusiasm for the change, but still only 24.9 per cent that encouraged it. Seven per cent of those who answered were unsure.

With its strict restrictions, WA is bucking the trend of the rest of the nation. In Victoria and NSW for example, governments receive hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from the machines each year.

In fact, figures released in July by the Victorian government outlined a growth in poker machine spending of $43 million in the past year with the overall yearly figure in the state now at an astonishing $2.6 billion.

WA Speaks is the biggest survey of its kind in this state. It is a barometer of opinions on the major issues facing West Australians at the moment. It also revealed that nearly seven out of 10 West Australians are in favour of same sex marriage, with less than 20 per cent against it.

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