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Open, Public Consultation Needed on Pokies

3 Mar 2016

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Gaming spokesperson 

Anglicare's interactive pokie map makes a strong, clear statement about the scale of problem we are tackling in Tasmania.

Anglicare and the community sector are the ones who see first-hand Tasmanians struggling with the impacts of problem gambling and pokie addiction.

The old parties seem to be immune to the massive sums of money lost on the pokies from families and businesses every day, but Tasmanians are not. Anglicare's polling tells us that four out of five people want these insidious machines removed from pubs and clubs.

Momentum is building for local councils and the state government to work together to roll back poker machines from pubs and clubs, and help licensees to restructure and innovate businesses supported by their revenue.

There have been opportunities to implement harm minimisation techniques but they have largely been unheeded.

The Treasurer's empty announcement that there are fewer problem gamblers in Tasmania essentially ignores the people's concerns, as well as the research undertaken by the community sector.

There's clear opposition to Federal Hotels' monopoly deed and the government will hear that loud and clear in their upcoming consultation process. The Liberals don't have mandate to roll over the deed and have an obligation to take it to the election.

The government's upcoming consultation on pokies and the Federal Hotels monopoly needs to be an open, public process. It's crucial that everyone's voices, particularly those with experience, are heard.