Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Gambling spokesperson
The Gaming Control Amendment (Community Consultation) Bill is a good first step to including the wider Tasmanian public in decision-making about where poker machines are located. But until these machines are out of pubs and clubs, the poorest Tasmanians will still be the ones suffering.
The current character test for licensees does not take into account the social and economic harms to communities form poker machine proliferation. This is the first step to communities having a voice.
It's no accident that these machines multiply in our lower SES communities. They are quite deliberately placed to extract the maximum cash from users - those who can least afford the financial loss.
This Bill would mean pokie-afflicted communities now have the right to say 'no more'. However, while any of these machines exist in pubs and clubs Tasmanians will continue to pour money into them.
The ‘public interest test’, whilst a welcome step, will not ease community concerns about poker machines. Until the Liberals remove pokies from pubs and clubs, the poorest Tasmanians will continue to suffer.