Calling all advocates: We need to change the TAB (Disposal) Bill 2019

WA is the only jurisdiction in Australia that restricts electronic gambling machines to the casino. The WA Government is currently considering legislation to privatise the TAB, the state-owned betting agency. As part of the sale, the legislation will permit simulated racing machines to be placed in TABs in WA. Simulated racing is defined in the proposed legislation as a game that uses animated images of a horse or greyhound race and randomly generates winners. The machines are a form of electronic gambling.

The Bill has already passed the Legislative Assembly. It will be discussed in the Legislative Council when Parliament resumes in August.

PHAIWA staff members Melinda Edmunds and Hannah Pierce (PHAA WA President) wrote a blog piece Health warnings over WA’s plans to introduce “pokies by stealth” for Crokey on concerns with this Bill.

PHAIWA along with PHAA (WA Branch), Western Australian Council of Social Service (WACOSS), Anglicare WA and PHAIWA held a ‘Public forum on electronic gambling and harm’ on Monday 5 August which was attended by over 50 people. A clear call from presenters was for all to advocate to Legislative Council members and other MPs to support the amendment of the TAB (Disposal) Bill which removes simulated racing machines from the sale.

You can advocate on this issue by writing a letter to an MPs outlining your concerns. The PHAIWA Advocacy in Action Toolkit provides great tips on how to write a letter to an MP, as well as details on other strategies you can use. For other tips and ideas on how to advocate on this issue visit the WACOSS website. PHAA WA Branch has also developed a briefing note which provides background evidence and key messages to support your advocacy efforts.

If you have any questions or require support with your advocacy please contact You can also follow along with the conversation on Twitter via the #DontBetOnHealth.