No Pokies For Essendon (NoPE) Incorporated

NoPE is a grassroots group of Essendon fans who believe that the job of repairing the club can never be complete while Essendon continues to operate pokies. Our aim is for the club to make a meaningful and public commitment to exit the pokies business.

At the end of the 2022 AFL season the Essendon Football Club started a process of transformational change. At the heart of this was a desire to return the club to its once great status. To be a leader on and off the field. There is however one major change still required before Essendon can once again be a truly great club.

The Essendon Football Club must move to a revenue model that is not reliant on profits from their ownership of 190 poker machines across two venues; one in Melton and the other at our spiritual home of Windy Hill. Since 2010 over $150million have been lost by people at those two venues. Pokies are designed to be addictive and that addiction can be destructive not just for those directly experiencing the harm but for the people close to them too.

The origins of many sporting clubs, such as Essendon, lay in the desire to improve the health and wellbeing of the communities from which they were born. Through its ownership of pokies, the Essendon Football Club is instead profiting off the weakening of the communities where it operates.

We acknowledge that finding an alternative source of revenue for the club is a complex task. This though should not be cause for inaction. North Melbourne, Collingwood, Western Bulldogs, Geelong, Melbourne and Hawthorn have all took on this challenge and sold their poker machine licences.

It’s time for Essendon to do the same.