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Labor and Liberals Ignore Health Cost of Pokies

Media Release - Friday, 28 July 2017, Rosalie Woodruff MP


Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Health spokesperson 

Tasmanians lose $200 million a year to poker machines. They devastate families and destroy lives.

The mental health cost of pokies can be serious. The recent Australia Institute report into the economic impacts of pokies in Tasmania noted 6.5% of problem gamblers had contemplated suicide in the last 12 months, and 1.5% had attempted it. *

These numbers, sourced from the government’s 2011 SEIS study data, tell a devastating story of avoidable human suffering caused by the proliferation of pokies in pubs and clubs in Tasmania.

Labor and the Liberals are compromised by their relationship with Federal Hotels.  Between them they’ve have received over $150,000 in electoral donations from the pokies' monopoly holder.

Both Labor and the Liberals have failed to stand up to their donors, Federal Hotels, on pokies policy.  The Greens are the only Party in the Tasmanian Parliament advocating for the removal of poker machines from pubs and clubs. 

At Labor’s recent State Conference, where Party policies are debated and formed, there was silence on pokies, their social harms and the future of the Federal Hotels’ monopoly deed.  

If Labor MPs and candidates claiming to have personal opposition to pokies in the community were pushing for policy change this was where they should have spoken up.

The majority of Tasmanians want pokies out of pubs and clubs. Once again, however, Labor and the Liberals seem to be ignoring the community and only listening to their long-time donors, Federal Hotels.

 

* http://www.tai.org.au/content/gambling-future