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The People Want Pokies Gone

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Tags: Pokies, Anglicare, Federal Group

That this House notes:

1.      That in the last 12 months Tasmanians lost almost $200 million dollars in poker machines, which equates to over $380 for every single adult and child in the State;

2.      The recent EMRS poll undertaken by Anglicare which revealed four out of five Tasmanians want the number of poker machines reduced or removed all together from the State’s pubs and clubs;

3.      That further, the poll showed 84 per cent of respondents believe poker machines do not benefit the community;

4.      The comments by Anglicare Chief Executive Dr Chris Jones, that community wellbeing should be prioritised when it comes to decision making about gambling in Tasmania and, that despite this, the highest concentration of gaming machines are located in the poorest postcodes;

5.      That even the pro-gambling and former Premier Paul Lennon warned in 1993 that pokies would inflict misery on Tasmanian families;

6.      The downhill slide that Tasmania’s poorest communities have been catapulted into since poker machines were introduced into our pubs and clubs in 1997;

7.      The concession made by Federal Hotel director Greg Farrell in his submission to the select committee inquiry, arguing against the rollout of poker machines in pubs and clubs at the time, that,

“the … casinos are located in areas that require a conscious decision to travel by car or public transport … whereas machines in hotels and clubs will be easily accessed by a large number of people … some of whom cannot afford to gamble”;

8.      That after holding the government of the day over a barrel, with promises of upgrades and expensive developments, the Federal Group ultimately decided to cash in on the rollout of pokies into pubs and clubs, and are now the proud owners of 11 suburban venues of their own, on top of possessing the monopoly deal on poker machine ownership; and

Further, that this House:

9.      Calls on the Liberal government to immediately begin consultation proper with a view to steadily removing all gaming machines from Tasmanian clubs and hotels.