Decade-old ban lifted on poker machine signs
The state government has watered down a decade-old signage ban by allowing hundreds of venues to display prominent "pokies" signs.
But... but... that means the people of Victoria will know where the fruit machines are! Will civilisation survive? It's too early to say, but the signs will still have to respect the fashion for plain packaging:
Now the government has allowed the use of "pokies" signs measuring two square metres on the facade of pubs and clubs. The signs must be in white lettering on a single colour background with no "decorative ridges or illumination".
These signs sound bland and drab, but you can always rely on an Aussie wowser to resort to laughable hyperbole and cite a well-worn urban myth about the Great Wall of China...
Opposition gaming spokesman Martin Pakula said "the effect of [Gaming Minister] Michael O'Brien's 'reforms' is that the only man-made structures visible from space will be the Great Wall of China and pokies signs".
And just in case that line doesn't sway the floating voter, another wowser has the killer argument—the piece of rhetoric that consistently trumps all intelligent debate in this foul year 2013...
Anti-pokies campaigner Tim Costello said allowing the signs was a retrograde step. "They don't allow smoking signs at all, which is funded from addiction. Pokies fall into exactly the same category and it's a public health disaster to allow pokies to be advertised," he said.
When in doubt, make a reference to smoking and pretend you're concerned about "public health". It works for the temperance lobby, it works for the food faddists, and there's no reason why it won't work for the anti-gambers.