While the Auditor-General’s report on Gambling revenue and managing harm from gambling is welcome, it has not told us more than we already know. Losses through pokies disproportionately affect those in areas of disadvantage.
It’s that Tasmanians who can least afford it that suffer the most from the proliferation of poker machines in the community.
The only way to truly reduce the harm from gambling is to remove pokies from pubs and clubs.
The truly telling graphic from the Audtor General’s report was that showing losses per adult and the number of EGMs. It reinforces what the Greens and the community sector, those who see the harm first hand, have been saying for years – pokies prey upon the poorest in our communities.
The report also reinforced that only 15% of problem gamblers seek the assistance of programs supported through the Community Service Levy. That means 85% of problem gamblers seek no measurable assistance at all.
It’s very likely those in the 85% are not able to see the harm pokies are causing or are unable to take the steps to address their addiction.
The majority of Tasmanians want an end to the government-sanctioned leeching, through pokies, from disadvantaged areas. The government must listen to the community’s voice and remove pokies from pubs and clubs.
Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens’ Gambling spokesperson