Tasmanian Public Called on for Opinion on Pokies
Brighton Council is calling for a vote by the public before the government considers removing poker machines from the hotels, pubs and clubs throughout the state of Tasmania. According to the council this should make up part of the government’s review into gaming in Tasmania which will focus on all areas of the gaming industry, from policy to problem gambling.
Mayor Tony Foster would like to see the Legislative Council adding a public vote to the terms of reference to be considered by the proposed joint parliamentary select committee into gaming in the state. According to Cr Foster, the public’s opinion on the matter should be taken into account before any other factors, including taxation, tenders for the operation of the machines and licensing.
“It is disrespectful for the committee to be considering how the poker machine industry will operate in the future before asking Tasmanians if they actually want electronic gaming in their hotels and clubs,” he said.
Brighton Council, led by Cr Foster, has been fighting against the proliferation of poker machines for many years. In 1997, they attempted to prevent poker machines from being licensed to operate in Derwent Tavern in Bridgewater, but they were unsuccessful.
“Brighton Council has long been concerned at the adverse impact of the proliferation of poker machines in our community and particularly their concentration in lower socioeconomic areas,” he stated.
“The concern is not just about problem gambling – it is also about money being bled from local communities and this impacts on families and the community in general.”
According to Treasurer Peter Gutwein, the review into gambling in Tasmania will include a transparent process whereby the public will be able to express their opinions on all area of gaming in the state, including gaming machines and policy.
April 16, 2017