The latest Treasury monthly break-down figures reveal Tasmanians lost a staggering $207, 340, 156 on poker machines from December 2013 to December 2014 inclusive, Greens’ Gaming spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said today.
“This is the equivalent of a $69 million return on the monopoly poker machine licence holder’s combined political donations to both the Labor and Liberal parties,” Ms O’Connor said.
“The Australian Electoral Commission’s release of political donations revealed that in late 2013, prior the March 2014 state election, the Federal Group donated $20, 000 to the Tasmanian Liberals and $25, 000 to the Labor Party.”
“While such donations are currently legal, it does raise the unfortunate perception of a corporate bet each way to maintain both these Parties’ blind support for the monopoly pokies deal which sees these machines ripping hard-earned cash away from Tasmanians throughout the state’s casinos, pubs and clubs.”
“In contrast, the Tasmanian Greens were the only state Party to take to the election a commitment to remove poker machines from pubs and clubs, and phase in a comprehensive removal statewide.”
“We were also the only Party to take to the election a state-based political donations reform package which included introducing a ban on political donations from smoking and gambling corporates.”
“Under the monopoly deal, the license holder receives approximately a third of the poker machine take. As the latest December to December figures reveal these monthly losses total over $207 million, of which approximately $69 million is the licence holder’s take for this period.”
“This staggering amount of over $207.3 million lost on poker machines is hard-earned cash not going into food on the table, school lunches, heating the home, or supporting local businesses.”
“The Tasmanian government has the biggest and most worrying long-term addiction to poker machines, which is causing social pain and costing Tasmanians, families and local economies,” Ms O’Connor said.