Pokie-Free Communities

Pokie-Free Communities


Our Vision

Tasmanians enjoy the benefits of pokie-free communities from 2023

We can achieve this by:

  • Getting poker machines out of Tasmania’s pubs and clubs
  • Not increasing poker machine numbers in the casinos, and make them safe and fair
  • Continuing counselling and other support services for those harmed by poker machines, and
  • Supporting pubs and clubs with poker machines to transition their business model.

There is widespread community concern about the damaging impact of poker machines in Tasmanian communities, particularly the disadvantaged communities in which they are concentrated. TasCOSS is part of a 60 member strong coalition of civil society organisations which are campaigning to have poker machines removed from Tasmanian communities and limited to casinos. The Coalition is also asking for a transition package to be put in place that deals with the consequences and impacts on all people affected.

Pokie-Free Communities


Labor


Policy

Labor will phase out poker machines from Tasmanian communities by 2023 and has committed to provide up to $55 million transition funding to the 97 pokies venues affected. This will include funds for transitional support for venues, a loan pool for businesses transitioning to new business models, grants to sporting clubs, and grants for business development advice.


Rating
Rating Justification

There is a substantial body of research evidence into the highly addictive nature of electronic gaming machines and the harm they cause. The Social and Economic Impact study has also estimated widespread social costs associated with poker machines. There is also evidence that the removal of poker machines would increase employment in Tasmanian communities.

Greens


Policy

The Greens are committing to remove poker machines from pubs and clubs. They are also committed to apply the Community Support Levy to the poker machines which are in the casinos. To further reduce the harm of the machines, they would also explore innovative regulatory measures to limit the harm done by them.


Rating
Rating Justification

There is a substantial body of research evidence into the highly addictive nature of electronic gaming machines and the harm they cause. The Social and Economic Impact study has also estimated widespread social costs associated with poker machines. There is also evidence that the removal of poker machines would increase employment in Tasmanian communities.

Liberal


Policy

The Liberal Party will end the Federal Hotels monopoly and move to an individual venue licence model for poker machines. They are also committing to increase the Community Support Levy to address harm caused by gambling. In addition two ‘high-roller, non-residential’ casino licences will be made available.


Rating
Rating Justification

The individual licence model is the one proposed by the gaming industry and is the model in NSW, Vic and Queensland. It is opposed by the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission who have described it as “highly problematic”. Administratively and legally it will be almost impossible to work towards the expiration of multiple licences, no matter how harmful the machines evolve to be. Research also suggests that problem gambling will increase as hotels compete with each other more directly and offer their own brand of ‘rewards’.