Image for ‘Wilkie takes on poker machine lies in Parliament’

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First published Feb 7

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, above, gave the following speech in the Parliament today …

Deputy Speaker, as Tasmania prepares to vote to remove poker machines from hotels and clubs, it’s disgusting to see the blatant lies the poker machine industry’s peddling.

For instance the lie jobs will be lost.

The lie these are lovable little businesses.

The lie people will switch to online gambling.

The lie the State relies on the tax revenue from poker machines.

And the lie that gambling addiction isn’t a problem.

“The fact is, Deputy Speaker, $1m on gambling creates about three jobs, but on drinks and food up to 20.

The fact is poker machines are big business raking in millions of dollars a year, like at the Elwick Hotel in my electorate where each machine harvests nearly $150,000 annually.

The fact is experience elsewhere proves that poker machine addicts don’t switch to online gambling when access to the machines is restricted.

The fact is gambling addiction costs Tasmania about three times the poker machine tax collected.

And the fact is gambling addiction in the State is going up, not down.

Deputy Speaker this is an industry that preys on vulnerable people and is built on lies.

It’s all bad and the worst offenders are the big poker machine barons like Federal Group and Woolworths.

They should be ashamed of themselves and this election is a chance for Tasmania to put them in their place.

*Andrew Wilkie is the Independent Member for Denison in the House of Representatives

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Nick O’Malley, SMH: Sydney family takes 54 times more revenue than Tasmanian clubs from their pokies With the Tasmanian election becoming a battle over pokie machines, new research shows Tasmanian clubs keep just 0.9 per cent of their pokie revenue, while the Sydney-based family that owns a monopoly license over the machines in the state, keeps 49 per cent …

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The Australia Institute: Tasmanian club and pub pokies revenue: 0.9% to clubs, 48% to Farrell Group A report released today by The Australia Institute Tasmania written by Dr Charles Livingstone from Monash University has found that The Farrell Group’s share of EGM revenue (47.8%) far exceeds that of the clubs that house many of the poker machines, with the Farrell family reaping fifty-four times more than that derived by clubs which took just 0.9%. “The big winners from pokies in Tasmania are the Farrells, taking nearly half the net revenue,” Senior Lecturer at the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, Dr Charles Livingstone said. “Clubs end up with less than 1% of the money that goes into the pokies. The Farrells take nearly half,” Livingstone said. Leanne Minshull, the Director of The Australia Institute Tasmania commented on the report: “The clubs and hotels are not getting much, and neither is the taxpayer. The Farrells a reaping $19.4 million more than the Tasmanian government … ”