Phasing Out Poker Machines: What Does It Mean For Communities?

Labor’s Policy

Labor will phase out poker machines from pubs and clubs in Tasmania by July 2023.

Labor will help venues that choose to remove poker machines prior to July 2023 with a package up to $50 million which includes direct venue support, employee support and community support.

A separate $5 million Club Sustainability Fund will ensure clubs get extra support beyond 2023.

What Does It Mean for Communities?

Removing poker machines from pubs and clubs will have widespread benefits for the health of communities.

Last year Tasmanians lost  $110 million on poker machines in pubs and clubs.

A high proportion of these losses were concentrated to around 8000 Tasmanians considered to be problem and moderate risk gamblers.

According to the Productivity Commission: “the harms from problem gambling include suicide, depression, relationship breakdown, lowered work productivity, job loss, bankruptcy and crime.”

A report commissioned by the Social Action Research Centre by respected economist John Mangan modelled “increases in Gross State Product and employment with the removal of poker machines from all hotels and clubs.”

That’s because the money that is currently being lost through poker machines will instead be spent in local businesses, creating  between 183 and 546 new full time jobs

Labor recognises the important role that hotels and clubs play in supporting sporting clubs and community organisations.

$500,000 from the transition fund will be made available to sporting clubs and organisations in affected communities and be administered by Sport and Recreation Tasmania.

Labor will also establish a $5 million Club Sustainability Fund for clubs with poker machines.

The fund will apply from 2023 so that these not-for-profit organisations can continue to offer important support and services to their communities.

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