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Hodgman ignores important evidence to deliver worst possible poker machine outcome

  • Hodgman completely ignoring evidence of Parliamentary Committee
  • Vested interests put before important community interests
  • Hodgman’s plan would add to already increasing problem gambling

The Hodgman Liberal Government has ignored its own gaming regulator and regulatory experts by rubber-stamping a gambling policy which will see poker machines remain a burden on Tasmanian communities until at least 2043.

Shadow Treasurer Scott Bacon said the Premier had ignored the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission’s submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry on Future Gaming Markets and broken its promise to stage a tender process for poker machines in pubs and clubs.

Mr Bacon said the government had also ignored the evidence provided by former TLGC Chair of eight years Peter Hoult that the worst possible outcome the government could propose would be a move toward individual venues holding a licence.

“The Hodgman Government is not only ignoring the wishes of the Tasmanian community when it comes to their policy on poker machines, they’ve also ignored concerns from their own Liquor and Gaming Commission when it comes to the model they want to put in place,” Mr Bacon said.

“What they have done is not only ignore the community, they have ignored their own regulator and taken on the model that the gaming industry has put forward.

“They have put vested gambling interests before the public interest.

“The government said that there would be a tender to realise the full value of operating machines in pubs and clubs. Now they want to gift the existing arrangements to the existing operators.

“Under this model as competition increases between venues, there will be inducements offered to people who use poker machines – particularly problem gamblers – making problem gambling worse.

“The 2018 election will be the only opportunity Tasmanians have to remove poker machines from their suburbs and communities.

“We know that 80 per cent of the community want this to happen and the government has  ignored that.

“We have a genuine opportunity to address problem gambling in Tasmania and what the government wants to do is take things in the other direction and make the problem worse.”