From our partners, the Alliance for Gambling Reform.

Coles announced that they want to reduce the damage caused by poker machines by lowering the maximum bet down to $1.

By doing this, they’ve split from the poker machine industry who continues to fiercely oppose a $1 maximum bet.

Tell Coles they’re doing the right thing by backing $1 maximum bets on their Facebook page.

They’ve demonstrated what leadership looks like, leaving operators including Woolworths exposed as greedily defending profits from addiction machines.

Coles could just sell their machines – but then some other business would simply continue to operate them, with no reduction in the devastation these machines cause.

Instead, they’re doing what Woolworths, clubs, pubs and state governments have failed to do – listening to the experts and supporting changes that work.

Already the machine manufacturers are refusing to cooperate, and Woolworths have refused to budge.

This game-changing shift by Coles comes at the end of a great year in the fight against pokies. Great media coverage, the landmark lawsuit against Crown and Aristocrat and thousands of supporters around the country are giving the battle for reform growing momentum.

Today’s move by Coles is no accident. Pressure on Woolworths at their AGM, lobbying of their Chairman Richard Goyder and sustained media coverage have all contributed to this titanic shift.

This is the first step of many. The announcement by Coles is no silver bullet. Like tobacco reform, we’re taking a public health approach.

That means $1 maximum bets and outlawing deceptive designs are the beginning, not the end of preventing harm from poker machines.

Cheers, Tony

Alliance for Gambling Reform