Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens’ Gambling spokesperson
The Liberals have demonstrated just how deep in industry's pocket, and out of touch with the community, they are when it comes to the poker machines in the State. Their policy will entrench the harm caused, and ignite a competitive marketplace for addiction.
The evidence heard at the recent Parliamentary Inquiry made it clear, the Liberals' policy to enter into individual contracts with gaming venues is the worst case scenario.
It was less than a decade ago that Will Hodgman cited the need to reconsider “EGMs in socially and economically vulnerable communities”. Yet today, when he could stand by that pledge, he and his Liberal team backed in the gaming lobby, the THA and Federal Hotels.
Since 2008, Federal Hotels have donated at least $50,000 to the Liberals - and that’s just what we know about.
Today’s pokies policy announcement shows just how little Will Hodgman’s integrity apparently costs, and what his word is worth.
Individual licenses will do nothing to but entrench the thousands of people suffering from pokies addiction, and the disadvantage within those communities. Increasing harm minimization measures, with the Liberals’ licence model, is much like putting ambulances at the bottom of a cliff.
The only way to truly mitigate the risk of pokies addiction is to remove poker machines from the community.
The Liberals’ pokies policy will lock Tasmanians into 20 years of further suffering. It demonstrates their lack of social conscience or compassion, and clearly states who they really represent – big business and gambling barons, not people.
Today’s policy announcement confirms just how weak Will Hodgman is, and how desperate the Liberals are to appease their corporate donors.