The Tasmanian Labor Party’s threat to pull pokie machines from bars and clubs will result in a loss of jobs and a $31 million hole in the state budget, according to The Gaming Technologies Association.
“This policy is a disaster for the 3,000 Tasmanians who rely on jobs in the hospitality sector,” GTA Chief Executive Ross Ferrar said in a statement.
“The facts speak for themselves. Expenditure on poker machines in Tasmania has declined significantly in both real and per-capita terms since 2003 but still contributes $31 million to Tasmanian Government revenue.
“Labor’s policy creates a $31 million black hole in the Tasmanian budget, that can only mean cuts to essential services.
“Our Association is calling on the Tasmanian ALP to be honest and open with the Tasmanian people; which services does it propose to cut to pay for its promise?”
“Electronic Gaming Machines in pubs and hotels are a legitimate and legal activity. The overwhelming majority of Tasmanian poker machine users are responsible gamblers.”
“Removing poker machines from all hotels and clubs rides roughshod over their legitimate choices and those who enjoy poker machines responsibly.
“Tasmania has one of the strictest regulatory environments for poker machines in the world. Regulators impose comprehensive conditions at every stage and on every aspect of poker machine design and operation,” Mr Ferrar said.
“All poker machines operating in Tasmania are subject to stringent legislation, regulation and national standards which ensure that machines available for play in Tasmania are safe and enjoyable for consumers.”
“The GTA strongly supports harm minimisation efforts, however, we do not believe banning our products is any more likely to assist problem gamblers.
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