The Tasmanian Greens are calling on all candidates in the upcoming Legislative Council elections to declare their position on supporting the rollback of poker machines from pubs and clubs, as pokies losses for the first three months of the year came in at $51 million.

The Greens Gaming spokesperson Kim Booth MP today congratulated Greens Candidate for Hobart Penelope Ann for being the only candidate to clearly articulate a strong case for pokies reform. [1]

“The damage caused by pokies is an issue of huge community concern, and it’s incumbent upon all candidates for this Saturday’s election to make their views known so voters can cast their votes accordingly,” Mr Booth said.

“It’s shameful and disgraceful that the Tasmanians collectively lost more than 17-million dollars in March alone to poker machines, and rate doesn’t appear to be slowing.”

“The first three months of this year alone saw Tasmanians lose more than $51 million on pokies, and based on this distressing trend, the community is once again on track to lose more than $200 million in a single year.”

“The Greens are the only party that supports $1 bet limits and ‘plain packaging’ for poker machines as interim steps toward a full roll-back of poker machines from pubs and clubs in Tasmania.”

“The Greens have already tabled legislation for a $1 bet limit in State Parliament, and all that’s now needed is for either Labor or Liberal to commit to supporting the Bill when it comes to a vote.”

“Plain packaging works for anti-smoking so it should be investigated to see if doing away with the lights and music of pokies would help deter people from gambling away their money.”

“The damage caused by pokies and problem gambling is no longer disputed and it is not good enough just to sit back and watch Tasmanians losing millions every month on these addictive machines,” Mr Booth said.

[1] Tasmanian Gaming Commission figures for Electronic Gaming Machine Expenditure by Rolling Year: