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Pokies Losses Increase

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 4 September 2014

Tags: Pokies, Treasury, Community

The latest EGM loss figures in arrears released by Treasury, reveal that Tasmanians lost $17, 410, 489 on poker machines for the month of July alone, Greens Gaming spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said today.

“These latest losses reflect an increase of more than $2.7 million from June, and an increase from the amount lost in the month of July last year,” Ms O’Connor said.

“This brings the total amount lost by Tasmanians on poker machines for the first seven months of this year to an unacceptably high $109, 577, 299.”

“That’s a huge amount of food not going on to the family dinner table, warm clothes not being bought for school children, rent, heating and other bills not being paid.”

“We know these losses are felt the hardest in areas of socio-economic disadvantage where these machines are most concentrated, and felt most acutely by families who can least afford to lose.  The impact on the children in the families of problem gamblers is profound and potentially life-long and life-limiting.”

“Research has confirmed repeatedly that pokies are the most damaging and pernicious form of gambling for problem gamblers, and they have the highest negative impact on those in our community who can least afford it.”

“Labor and Liberal governments have turned a blind eye for far too long to the real human cost that poker machines wreak upon Tasmanian families, individuals, and local businesses.”

“The Greens have done the work, and in our Alternative Budget Statement 2014-15  we have proposed a detailed Transition Strategy which will see poker machines removed from all venues around the state within five years from 2015-16, as well as provide for a fund to assist pubs and clubs revise their business models and adapt to being pokie-free.”

“It is well past time that governments in Tasmania put people first and went cold turkey on their blind addiction to poker machine revenue off the back of disadvantaged Tasmanians,” Ms O’Connor said.