Pokies to be banned by 2022

James Jansson Team for the NSW upper house to blow up the pokies

Today the James Jansson Team for NSW announces that it will completely abolish pokies from all non-casino venues (pubs and clubs) by 1st January 2022. The policy of complete abolition is the strongest policy of any group running for parliament in NSW.

“For too long, state governments under both Labor and Liberal have been addicted to pokies revenue, so they can say that the trains run on time” said lead candidate, James Jansson.

“Problem gambling is taking the food off the table of families around the state, unnecessarily harming people from all walks of life.”

Pokies are an anomaly in NSW. For example, Western Australia does not have pokies in their pubs and clubs. We have more pokies per person than anywhere in the world, including Nevada, home of Las Vegas, except for tiny resort towns like Monaco, Sint Maarten and Aruba.

With an estimated 41% of gambling revenue coming from problem gamblers, the state government is propping up their budget with the income of breaking homes. The state government gets around $2.5B in revenue from gambling taxes, with $1.4B coming directly from pokies, according to the government budget.

Our delay in implementation of two and a half years will allow pubs and clubs ample time to adjust their business practices and renovate their spaces. While we acknowledge that some venues may close, the James Jansson Team believes it is immoral to prop up activities such as lawn bowls with the gambling problem of a handful of members.

To ensure that problem gamblers do not simply switch mode to the lottery, TAB, online sports betting or the casino, gamblers on those platforms will be required to register with their drivers license, and will have a gambling loss cap of $5,000 per year combined across all platforms.

Once an individual has lost $5,000, they may apply to increase their loss cap, but will only be authorised to lift the loss cap to the higher of 10% of their annual income, or $20 per week.

The James Jansson Team understands that prohibition of all types of gambling won’t work, however, like alcohol and cigarettes, this does not mean that we must have gambling readily available and advertised brightly close to the homes of those at risk.

The James Jansson Team is an independent team in Column S on the upper house ballot, made up of members of the Science Party. Read more about our policy here and the team here.

Press contact:



James Jansson

is part of the James Jansson Team for NSW Legislative Council (state upper house).