- Anti-gambling group ‘Bad Bets’ reportedly ‘warning’ parents of dangers of pokies
- Flyers handed out outside school depicting graphic imagery
Anti-gambling campaigners have come under in fire after handing out advocacy flyers showing questionable, hard-hitting images at the gates of a school in Melbourne, Australia.
The flyers have allegedly been designed and distributed by the campaigners as a way of warning parents about the possible dangers of poker machines – or pokies – being built nearby.
A severely bruised woman and a man wielding a gun are just some of the graphic images displayed on the anti-gambling flyers, which are emblazoned with the phrase, ‘Don’t show this to your kids’.
But regardless of this warning, anti-gambling campaigners are standing at school gates and handing out the flyers. One school affected is Officer Primary School in southeast Melbourne, with the inappropriate leaflets warning against the poker machines to be built very near the school.
Despite the fact that the parents of children at the school and the community at large have hit back against the anti-gambling group – which calls itself ‘Bad Bets’ – the group is reportedly arguing that the violent imagery is nothing compared with the impact of the poker machines, which it has likened to illegal drug use.
The Education Minister for Victoria, James Merlino, has said that he does not support the distribution of this content, and Parents Victoria – a community group – have also said that the leaflets are inappropriate.
‘More pokies = More bashed women’ said one of the flyers, while another said ‘More pokies = More violent crime’.
‘Second leading cause of crime’
According to Australia’s The Herald Sun, the group has said that poker machines are “the second leading cause of crime” in the vicinity, second only to the illegal drug industry.
For this reason, ‘Bad Bets’ says that the school could be protected from the impact of these crimes by opposing plans to build the new poker machine venue nearby.
Across Victoria, there are already around 27,000 poker machines, and in the year between 2015 and 2016, Australian gamblers lost around €12 billion by using poker machines, or “pokies.”
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