Whitlams to play anti-pokie anthem
Whitlams front man Tim Freedman loves to perform in Canberra, despite the city's undisputed title of gaming machine capital of Australia.
The singer-songwriter penned the smash hit Blow Up The Pokies in response to a friend's gambling addiction and says the Federal Government is finally moving in the right direction.
Fans of the band will be treated to two 45-minute sets featuring a medley of the band's best known songs, including the anti-gambling anthem, tonight at the main stage in Civic Square.Freedman said the band would time the last song of the last set to segue seamlessly into a fireworks display.
He was surprised to learn the ACT beat NSW for the highest number of poker machines per capita. The ACT has 5155 gaming machines operating across the territory, meaning there is one pokie for every 68 people, putting the ACT well ahead of the Australian average of one machine for every 110 people.
''The clubs jumping up and down about gamblers presetting their gambling limits is ridiculous,'' he said.
''I agree with the new proposals, in that they are not affecting the recreational gambler.
''I personally don't think they are going far enough, but at least they are going in the right direction.''
But Freedman is dismissive of his anti-poker machine message.
''I just wrote the song. I haven't been involved in the front line battle like [Senator] Nick Xenophon, he's done the hard yards I just wrote a few rhyming couplets about 12 years ago.''
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