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Honest Appraisal of Pokies' Cost to Tasmania

17 Jul 2017

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens' Leader 

The Australia Institute (Tasmania) paper, ‘Gambling on the Future’ applies an honest, data based lens to the social and economic impact of poker machines in Tasmania and finds that the costs far outweigh the benefits.

The report contrasts the taxation and fees to the State government of $53.4 million in 2016 with the cost of poker machine-related problem gambling at up to $153.3 million (in 2011 dollars), demonstrating the social and economic costs of the gambling monopoly far outweigh any benefit to the State.

Also reinforced, the fact that poker machines are a threat to both lives and livelihoods, with the report citing the 2011 SEIS study data that 6.5% of problem gamblers had seriously considered suicide in the previous twelve months and 1.5% attempting suicide.

These numbers tell a devastatingly sad story of avoidable human suffering caused by the proliferation of pokies in pubs and clubs in Tasmania.

Poker machines claim lives and they steal money out of the pockets of some of our poorest people.

It is immoral for any Tasmanian political party to continue to support the Federal gambling monopoly Deed when the human cost is so well understood and the benefits to the State, so small in comparison.