Tasmanian Times


Poker machine apocalypse? LABOR’S POLICY …

*Pic: Michael Coghlan, Flickr

First published December 10

There seems little doubt the fate of poker machines post 2023 will be an issue that will get plenty of coverage during the upcoming State election campaign.

Depite the government assuring the Joint Select Committee into Future Gaming Markets it would be open to recommendations based on evidence, Premier Stansfield and Chief Strategist McQuestin had their minds made up well before the Committee reported. The government arranged for a Dorothy Dixer on the 11th of September to allow the Treasurer to set out the government’s policy on gaming. If pokies are banned from communities it would have a “devastating effect on pubs and clubs” he told parliament.

Rather than blithely following the dictates of his political overlords the Treasurer should have read a paper prepared by his own department for the Committee.

A close analysis of Treasury’s modelling reveals in the case of regional areas beyond the 50 km reach of casinos where 40% ($42.9 million) of player losses occur, player losses will reduce by 75% ($31.4 million). There will be some migration to casinos and substitution with Keno, in total about 25%. Pubs and clubs will be worse off by $6.4 million, but the $25 million that previously flowed out of towns to Federal Hotels’ Network Gaming will be free to circulate within regional towns.

Currently on average, only 20% of player losses remain with pubs and clubs via net commissions from Federal Group’s Network Gaming. The rest flows out of town to Network Gaming. It is well beyond the wit of this writer to figure why the government is so willing to accept the dumb proposition that stopping the haemorrhaging of regional towns will have a devastating effect on those communities. It’s going to be very difficult to convince an electorate growing weary of political lies.

Regional pubs and clubs will be worse off by only $6.4 million. This is before any changes to their business models to attract some of the extra $25 million circulating in the community rather than being hijacked by Network Gaming.

In order to predict the effects on State taxation receipts, Treasury used different assumptions about player responses within 50 kms of the two casinos and in areas further away. It is a simple exercise to reconfigure the models to calculate changes in player losses, changes in venue income and the extra income that will accrue to communities, in each of those two broad areas, before having a revealing look at a few of the larger regional towns/cities.

This paper follows on from the writer’s last blog on the Treasury model ( HERE: Removing pokies … ) and a subsequent request by Anglicare as to what conclusions can be drawn from the Treasury study about the effects in regional areas, and how the Treasury study reconciles with the Anglicare commissioned study by Prof John Mangan titled Removing poker machines from hotels and clubs in Tasmania: Economic considerations ( HERE ), presented as evidence to the Joint Select Committee. The remainder of this blog is the response provided to Anglicare’s request.

The Treasury paper titled …

Read more, Tasfintalk HERE

*John Lawrence worked as an economist, public accountant and a DIY Super consultant. Currently a public policy researcher and blogger. Am interested in promoting an understanding of finance and economic issues particularly those that confront the State of Tasmania.

• Stephen Menadue, in Comments: Thanks John. As if we didn’t already know that the flow on benefits to community would be great from getting rid of the pokies, the Government would have us believe that the increased employment and sporting group t-shirt funding would be of more benefit. A child waiting outside a Gaming Lounge for their mum or dad to finish inside paints a picture of exactly how many ways these machines are tearing apart families and values …

• John Biggs in Comments: … The relevance to this thread is that the Liberals and their mates are interested only in making money. The effects of pollution and poker machines on community health and welfare simply doesn’t matter. We should be very angry indeed about that and ensure that we chuck the rotters out next election …

CWA: It’s time to get pokies out of Tassie’s suburbs The CWA in Tasmania has added its voice to the statewide campaign to get pokies out of Tasmania’s suburbs. Lindy Cleeland, state President CWA in Tas, said: “The CWA stands for strong communities and our members know just how much stronger those communities can be with pokies gone from our local pubs and clubs. “We urge everyone with a view on this issue to speak up and get that message to their local political representatives and the candidates for the 2018 election …

Andrea Dawkins, Greens’ gambling spokesperson: … Will Hodgman and Rebecca White need to think long and hard about whether they intend to prioritise the lives and wellbeing of Tasmanians, or the coffers of Federal Group.

Rebecca White, Labor Leader: Poker machines out of pubs and clubs in five years under Majority Labor Government A re-elected Majority Labor Government will act to remove poker machines from Tasmanian pubs and clubs over the next five years. Last financial year Tasmanians lost $110 million on poker machines in pubs and clubs – money that could be better spent in our communities supporting small business and families. A report by economics professor John Mangan shows that if just half of those losses from poker machines were diverted to other parts of the economy, more than 180 full time jobs would be created. The harmful impacts of poker machine gambling are widespread. They affect an individual’s health, their family, relationships and work. For every person who is harmed by their own gambling, seven other people are affected …

Rebecca White on Labor’s policy HERE

Meg Webb, Anglicare: Listening to the people Anglicare has welcomed the Labor Party’s decision to support the removal of poker machines from hotels and clubs. “We are pleased to see politicians catching up with community sentiment,” said Anglicare’s Meg Webb. Manager of the Social Action and Research Centre. “Labor has responded to the clear vision of Tasmanians who want thriving local neighborhoods free of poker machines.” “Labor took the time to consult and has developed a policy that’s in the public interest,” said Ms Webb. “They examined the evidence, listened to local communities and have made the right choice on this issue …”

TasCOSS CEO Kym Goodes: At Long Last … The Change Tasmanians Want With Labor’s announcement of its policy on poker machines today, Tasmania sits at a moment where profound change is possible. “This is one of those moments, much like the announcement of how Tasmanians voted on marriage equality a couple of weeks ago—a moment when we can feel meaningful change in the air,” CEO of TasCOSS Kym Goodes said. “The overwhelming majority of Tasmanians will feel represented by this policy announcement and it bodes well for a future where the power and strength of the Tasmanian people sits at the core of our vision for the future of this state. “This is not simply about a change to long term policy on pokies in our state. “This announcement and the clear and genuine consultation that preceded it is an acknowledgement that our political representatives recognise that they are meant to do just that: represent the views of the people of Tasmania …

ABC: Poker machines out of Tasmanian pubs, clubs by 2023 under Labor promise

Andrew Wilkie, Independent MP for Denison: ALP pokies policy a win for the community and common sense … “We know that poker machines cause or at least add to many social ills including crime, domestic violence, suicide and childhood poverty. That’s why I recently launched the Pokies are the Problem campaign to encourage the Opposition to come up with a decent policy on poker machines, and I’m glad that this has finally happened. “I now call on the Liberals to step up and match Labor’s commitment because completely removing poker machines from hotels and clubs is the only sensible policy and the only policy that will seriously reduce harm …

Unions Tasmania: Unions Tasmania reaction to poker machine removal

Andrea Dawkins, Greens gambling spokesperson: Community Pokies Campaign Yields Fruit

Brighton Mayor Tony Foster: End of pokies scourge a good move

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party: SFFP does not support an attack on Rural and Regional employment in Hospitality and Tourism

Labor: Does Hodgman actually have a poker machine policy?

Andrea Dawkins: THA Must Reconsider Approach to Pokies

Labor: Liberals increasingly isolated as Lambie speaks out strongly on poker machines

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Simon Warriner

    December 16, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    Interesting answer Leonard, but you misinterpreted the question.

    What is of interest is why the rights to run the Tatts Lottery are vested where they are and not in some charitable foundation or the State govt, and why it is a monopoly.

    That and the risk taking you are lauding is a crock of shite. The game is designed to entrap that portion of the population vulnerable to the psychological manipulations being employed to part the vulnerable from their cash on an ongoing, long term basis.

    The risks are very real and not publicised, the harm is very real, and the benefit to the greater common good is non existent. The operators are the regular beneficiaries of the proceeds of crime. The victims of those crimes cannot pursue the Farrells for their losses despite the fact that the addictive nature of the gaming machines is designed into them by the manufacturers. That you fail to understand the moral repugnance of that is understandable.

  2. Tony Stone

    December 16, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    #44 … How much is wagered on Tattslotto? And where does that money go?

    Here you go … This is tatts group financials for the last financial year.


    A very interesting part is the exclusive licences they hold and for how long.

    “The expected useful lives used for licences and rights are as follows:
    Race wagering licence – Qld
    92 years
    Expires 2098
    Sports wagering licence – Qld
    84 years
    Expires 2098
    Totalisator licence – NT
    20 years
    Expires 2035
    Sports bookmaker licence – NT
    20 years
    Expires 2035
    Major betting operations licence – SA
    94 years
    Expires 2100
    Gaming machine monitoring operator’s licence – Qld
    10 years
    Expires 2017
    Monitoring provider’s licence – NT
    5 years
    Expires 2021
    Centralised monitoring system licence – NSW
    11 years
    Expires 2017
    Centralised monitoring rights – NSW
    15 years
    Expires 2032
    Inter-club linked gaming system licence – NSW
    11 years
    Expires 2017
    Inter-hotel linked gaming system licence – NSW
    13 years
    Expires 2019
    Radio licences – Qld
    5 years
    Expires 2019
    Lotteries licence – Vic
    10 years
    Expires 2028
    Lotteries licence – NSW
    40 years
    Expires 2050
    Race and sports wagering licence – Tas
    50 years
    Expires 2062

    Just another grubby monopoly. Tas should ban them from operating in the state and start its own lottery as well as get rid of The Federal group quickly.

    Too much money in it for the incumbent lib/lab coalition, that’s why they have given Tatts and federal such long monopolies. No competition, just growing profits for a very few.

  3. Leonard Colquhoun

    December 16, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    re #46 … and perhaps more realistic – humankind’s entirely natural risk-taking (upon which the survival of the species depends) and the Bell Curve of such risk-taking (as shown by ABN stats that only about 3 to 5% of the millions of us flutterers are at high risk of becoming ‘problem gamblers’).

    Both notions are far too complex for the one-track, one-size-its-all brain of your average peecee gauleiter or apparatchik

  4. Simon Warriner

    December 16, 2017 at 11:59 am

    re #45 … and perhaps more informative. Why is it so?

  5. pat synge

    December 16, 2017 at 9:39 am

    #44 … Good question.

  6. TGC

    December 15, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    #42 … How much is wagered on Tattslotto? And where does that money go?

  7. Wining Pom

    December 15, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    #42 … James Boyce in his book Losing Streak (a bloody good read and shocking) says that for every dollar lost on the pokies, 84 cents is not spent in the community.

  8. pat synge

    December 15, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    #35 TGC … No, the money going to Federal and the Govt via the pokies obviously doesn’t ‘disappear’.

    • Some goes to employees of Federal and the pubs and clubs and so circulates through the system.
    • The government uses its portion as it decides.
    • The Farrell family pockets a good proportion and this probably does more or less ‘disappear’ for all practical purposes.

    FACTS …
    #1 Low income earners lose a disproportionate amount on pokies.
    #2 Low income households spend a higher proportion of their income and tend to spend it locally (ie not on overseas holidays etc)

    So, Trevor, a disproportionately large slice of the reported $100m that is ‘lost’ to pokies comes from low income households. This money would otherwise (most likely) be spent within the local community thus creating employment, and this in turn would generate taxable income and reduce government spending on welfare payments etc.

    Win/Win vs Lose/Lose

    REF: Economics 101.

  9. spikey

    December 13, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    #40 … Yeah, exactly what he said

    because its blatantly, obviously true

    unless White’s actions speak beyond tasinc
    on pokies, forestry and fishfarming
    expect the same
    and pity the fools

  10. Simon Warriner

    December 13, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Everyone would do well to remember that this issue has the Busted Sav working for the Farrell Family as a lobbyist.

    It would be naive in the extreme to expect what is coming out of Rebecca White’s mouth to be replicated in reality in 5 years time. It is the Labor party, and it would pay us all to never forget it. Like we should not forget the 16 years they had in government.

  11. John Hawkins

    December 13, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    Interesting how the Examiner in an article by Georgie Burgess states that pubs and clubs will go broke, but then does not allow comments.

    What a useless rag.

    Is Dismal Prismall hiding in the shadows tweaking the strings from the Gutweiner’s office?

    Who could posssibly vote for the pokies in pubs and clubs? Only the brain dead!

    Naaaah Maaaate.

  12. MjF

    December 13, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    $31 Teddy … If I may be permitted to comment on another non-tree topic, as of today there are 70 coal vessels at anchor off Mackay waiting to berth and load – yes, 70 !
    The GBRMP must nearly be covered in boats.

    Two weeks ago there were 45. The queue is growing.

    I know coal is so unfashionable now but please, somebody tell the buyers.

  13. spikey

    December 13, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    i wonder if this is a ‘core promise’
    and at what cost
    because i don’t trust the lablibs
    for obvious reasons
    votes n donors
    donors n votes
    what makes anyone think
    our glorious new potential leader
    actually has any sway
    or is she just groomed to do
    till the deals can be done

    party machinations
    unlikely to upset
    their financial masters
    but clearly pandering
    despite appearances

  14. TGC

    December 13, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    So does #24 believe the money ‘given’ to Federal and the government via the pokies ‘disappears’?

  15. Tony Stone

    December 13, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Conversation overheard today, between some Labor cronies. Sounds good that Labor is going to phase out pokies, and some posters are wondering how they will do it. The cronies let on with their jovial digs at how easy it is to con the people and get the result they want.

    As federal has a contract to operate until 2023, which Labor increased from 2018, according to the cronies, the 5 year phase out will begin when the contract expires in 2023.

    So it will be 10 years before pubs and clubs may be free of pokies. As Federal has binding contracts on each venue they can’t reduce their machines until federal says so, or they go broke. Whichever way, only federal will win and the pollies know that.

    Unless you are a complete fool you’d realise this is a total con job, just like all the promises they make and never keep, or change to suit themselves, their corporate and union masters.

    So everyone jumps on the bandwagon, praising Labor and then voting for them. But in 10 years, or even 5, who knows who will be in government?

    By then, the incumbents will have hoped the people have forgotten. Or they will make some ridiculous claim that it’s toohard and there are other priorities that must come first.

    It’s a familiar scenario pollies constantly use to suck in the gullible clones. Not listening to the announcement properly and just jumping on the delusionary bandwagon is what the pollies hoped will happen, and it has.

    Only one way, get rid of the entire current politicians and system and put power where it belongs, directly into the hands of the people and not a bunch of lying wankers.

    As Labor also gets donations from Federal and the THA, a cynical person may claim they have colluded to make it look like they are taking action but have 10 years to get round to it – and won’t.

  16. MjF

    December 13, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    #29 … Pubs didn’t hold licences for customers to smoke or not smoke in venues. Easy to legislate for change in that situation where no specific vested interests existed apart from supplying ashtrays Hardly the same situation here.

    I doubt the current licence conditions direct the licencee to phase out machines by expiry date. Maybe it does. Just asking.

    Curious as to what the terms of the licence say in such a situation to offset Federals loss of income.

    #30 … Only the old fuel reducer RCH will know.

  17. Ted Mead

    December 13, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    #28 -… I am amazed that such an insular mind would comment here (TT) on anything but Forestry!

    Are you on Greg’s payroll as well?

  18. Robin Charles Halton

    December 13, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    #26 Ted lay off forestry, you are becoming horribly painful and concentrate on the subject if you can!
    If there is an opportunity to reduce pokies then that is a worthwhile cause by Labor, but they have to be fair dinkum and simply not use it as a political tool to win over the voters!

    I am sure Mr Wilkie will be right behind governments moving away from the pokie menace in pubs and clubs.

    One of the reasons that I usually support Andrew at a Federal level despite not being in agreement with him on the RHH funding of the old Royal “upgrade”.

    There are some things I like about individual politicions and some things that I dont like, seeing the middle ground is important for me.

  19. Tim Thorne

    December 13, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    #25, your final question: Obviously something happened on the road from Hobart to Damascus.

  20. MjF

    December 13, 2017 at 11:50 am

    $26 … So do you think compo to be paid to Federal as well ?

    Yes or no?

    Your rambling comment is difficult to follow.

    Stay on topic, please.

  21. John Biggs

    December 13, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Well done Rebecca. A real win for common sense and the public welfare.

    But a cable car? Cradle makes more sense than Wellington but it leaves a nasty political taste just because the Libs back one for Wellington, and now look, they’re going to Cradle as well. Can’t we leave natural wonders alone?

  22. Ted Mead

    December 13, 2017 at 10:52 am

    #25 … “Improbable”

    It will happen because that’s the nature of politics!

    It’s no different than your beloved insidious Forestry trashing of our High Conservation Areas.

    Just like the impacts of paying to destroy of our natural heritage, the pokies are eating away at the fabric of society at the taxpayers expense, and in both cases opposition to it will see its demise.

    The unfortunate issue is that the vile pokie magnates will come out of it fully compensated just like the forestry tycoons do every time there is a concession.

    The whole process never benefits the people of Tasmania in any form.

  23. MjF

    December 13, 2017 at 10:30 am

    At what cost is this Labor policy going to come ?

    Federals pokies licence expires in 2023, is that correct ?

    So how does a government phase out machines over the preceeding years down to zero in pubs and clubs at the expiry without commercial penalties applying ?

    Does Federal just rock up and unplug 5 machines next year, then another 8 machines the year after from each venues etc and just remove them , no questions asked ?


    I expect there are licence conditions to protect the holders position right up to expiry date with this type of change by government specifically in mind.

    Compensation looms large here to the licencee.

    #21 Who’s paul eslake ?

  24. pat synge

    December 13, 2017 at 9:53 am

    #19 TGC … If you give less to Federal and the government via the pokies you have more money. Simple.

    What are you suggesting is going to happen to that money? Evaporate? Get real!

  25. James Boyce

    December 13, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Congrats to Tasmanian Labor party for breaking its fifty year partnership with Federal Hotels and putting the public interest first. As far as I know it has just become the first major party in Australia to stand up to the political power of the poker machine industry and commit to removing all pokies from pubs and clubs.

    This is a big win for problem gamblers, small business AND democracy. This is a historic day for the nation and thank you to the Greens for showing the way!

  26. philll Parsons

    December 13, 2017 at 8:58 am

    73% wanted changes to forestry and nothing happened as both the old parties stuck with it until they killed it by their uncompromising attitudes.

    81% want change to pokies in pubs and one of the old parties gets it and offers a transition to none by 2023 catching up with the Greens.

    Is there a connection in thinking. When push came to shove a change to marriage was the result of the survey.

    The Lieberals may think they will get a big donation from the THA or votes from gamblers. We will know soon enough if the community wants its pubs back – or have they too died through being too long out of step like forestry?

  27. Robin Charles Halton

    December 13, 2017 at 1:20 am

    Good to see this sort of objective coming from Labors new leader Rebecca White to phase out poker machines in pubs and clubs.

    Of cause there will other forms of gambling, keno, scratchies, internet gambling and the two Casinos being always available!

    It may transfer from one form of gambling to another however the removal of pokie machines may reduce the alluring attraction for some attached to these diabolical money eating monsters!

    A bold move by Labor that is very thought provoking as well the Liberals should think they too have a higher form of social responsibility towards Tasmanians.

    We already Know the Greens policy which is praiseworthy I would expect that our other very marketable contender for deserving a few seats in Parliament, the Jacqui Lambie Network would put foward a compassionate plan to help gamblers away from the addiction crisis especially around the lower socio economic suburbs in our towns around the State too!

    The big question is how much do pubs deserve to exit these pokie beasts, any or none, something that all of the political parties should start debating about and pretty soon to in my opinion!

    It is praiseworthy of Rebecca White to raise the issue to bring about some form of change in Tasmanian society, probably heaps more in this move by Labor leader than most of the points raised in the Paul Eslake report suggesting asset sales!

  28. Simon Warriner

    December 13, 2017 at 12:04 am

    re #19 … and we should take your view as gospel?

    WHY? Please let us in on the secret of your all knowing power that enables you to state this with such authority.

    I ask that as someone who watched a 17 year old flatmate get in the shit due to pokies, and was forced to watch a family business fail due to the gambling addiction of two of its employees, I was forbidden to take them out the back and kneecap them.

  29. TGC

    December 12, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    There is the mistaken belief that money available for one thing, eg gambling, would be available for something else, eg new retail spending – if poker machines were banned.
    It ain’t necessarily so, but Labor is prepared to gamble (ironic that) that the community will benefit.

  30. Mark Temby

    December 12, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Well done Stephen Menadue. Although Andrew Wilkie as a politician, numerous “do gooders” and several welfare associations have pushed for change, I watched your focus in standing for change. Congratulations! It’s great to see an individual stand tall. Don’t let lesser individuals discount your achievement.

  31. Tony Stone

    December 12, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Now the labs have claimed they will get rid of pokies in clubs and pubs, but not keno. Why not get rid of gambling in all venues and take horse racing out as well.

    Personally would like to see all gambling taken out of the state and the introduction of a state lottery. That way we could use lottery profits for rehabilitation centers for crims and junkies, of all descriptions.

    It would also give the state a gambling outlet that was controlled and beneficial for our society.

    Gambling is an addiction, just like every other addiction and just as devastating, The problem we face, is if you take one addiction away, they will take up another one.

    That’s why we need real education and rehabilitation centers, where addicts can be put, to be taught how to live properly, healthily physically and psychologically.

    Give them some useful work and training, so they have goals to look forward to and we would have reasonable success.

    Taking out just a section of gambling from clubs/hotels, will only drive them to Keno and racing. Addicts will go to online gambling and that would be hard to stop.

  32. mike seabrook

    December 12, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    why are not consumer protection laws readily enforceable

    is there point of sale of disclosure of the risks and adverse consequences (odds/probabilities).

    is there any after sales warranty which is actionable

  33. Tim Thorne

    December 12, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    The answer to the opening question in comment #12 would start with “the other Australian states and territories, New Zealand, a fair swag of Western Europe and North America” and go on from there.

  34. John Biggs

    December 12, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    #12 … And what about the “smug, self-satisfied and virtue-signalling yowls” of those who would condemn those who would attempt to mitigate a system that causes demonstrable damage to people and to the economy?

  35. Leonard Colquhoun

    December 12, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Re “the existence of different governance models in the outside world” mentioned in Comment #4 .. what are they? And where are they?

    What are their records in being based on the rule of law, equality before the courts, free and fair elections (especially out-voted governments actually getting ‘out’ of government), non-discrimination based on group identity, separation of judicial, legislative and executive powers, and a few other bits like KGB / Gestapo-style security police, political re-education / indoctrination camps, and separation of church / temple / mosque / party secretariat and state? And, please no absurd, case-destroying nonsense about Manus Island being ‘our Auschwitz’.

    How many equivalents of Tasmanian Times or GetUp! do they have?

    And hasn’t the ABN got stats showing that ‘problem gamblers’ are less than 1 or 2% of all of us who like a little flutter occasionally, who don’t leave children standing outside the door?

    All this smug, self-satisfied and virtue-signalling yowls about the evils of gambling remind me of ..

    ~ what happened to the fairly moderate US Temperance Movement when the fanatics took over? And ~ mid-19th century historian T B Macaulay’s perceptive remark: “the puritan hated bear-baiting, not for the pain it gave the bear but for the pleasure it gave the spectators”. (Each summer you could substitute ‘the Greens’, ‘drumlines’, ‘sharks’ and ‘surfers’.)

  36. Cameron

    December 12, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    If I wanted to be cynical, I would ponder at length on the similarities between the ALP policy and that of the Greens. However, the Greens got there first.

    But then, perhaps I shouldn’t be so cynical – I’m still quite young, after all. And it’s such a beautiful day.

  37. Cameron

    December 12, 2017 at 8:15 am

    The Pokies sham can be added to a long list of reasons for a change of government at the next election, although this issue is one of the better reasons for doing so.

    On Michael Ferguson’s watch, the LGH has declined sharply in the quality of its service provision and wait times (while, miraculously, buckets of money continue to be poured into the RHH); Jacquie Petrusma possibly still has some serious questions to answer about her portfolio and whether or not she mislead parliament; Jeremy Rockliffe was not five minutes into the Education portfolio when he rubber-stamped the single worst decision made in Education in this state in ten years, namely getting rid of Pathway Planners.

    However, the Pokies issue sharply focuses on one simple element that often seems foremost in how the Liberal Party does business: greed. Look out for your mates and take as much as you can. I hope that Tasmanian communities have cottoned on to this, and think about it when they vote at the forthcoming state election.

  38. Tony Stone

    December 11, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    #3 Ivo …. I have owned and operated gambling hotels. One here in Tas, until decided to sell it. Bought the pub with pokies in operation and to get rid of them would have cost a lot.

    There is no way you can reduce the pokie take, it’s propaganda that counts, not facts. What the public is told and what the reality is for pay outs, is close to the opposite, in my opinion.

    As long as we have pokies and most other gambling in hotels and clubs, communities will continue to suffer. We have to bring back real entertainment in hotels/clubs, that don’t isolate people, rip them off, but brings them together.

    As we can’t throw them out until the contract expires, then we have to take other measures that make it unviable to keep gambling in venues and we all know where both major parties get some of their money from.

    Higher taxes in gambling turnover, would make a lot of publicans think twice about having gambling.

    We could also introduce regulations making it compulsory to provide live entertainment when ever gambling machines are in operation. Make the number of entertainers, depend on the number of pokies, 5 pokies one act, 10, two acts, 20, 4 acts.

    It would provide more jobs and bring back entertainment into communities if they got rid of their pokies. They’d have to keep the entertainment for at least a couple of nights to keep their customers.

    That’s when real competition comes in, and not monopolisation, as gambling does.

    As long as the lib/labs have control, pokies will remain and there will be more and more. They will get round the people by opening up gambling ownership and licensing. Then they’ll tell everyone, we fixed it with competition.

  39. Ivo Edwards

    December 11, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    No Tony, #6 … I agree with what you say about prostitution, but not about poker machines. We don’t want more gambling tax but rather much less, so that pokie players have a real chance of winning rather than a certainty of losing, on average, approximately 13 – 15% of every bet which goes to the government as tax and to Federal Hotels as a reward for being friends of the government.

    How about we forget about banning the machines, which is obviously not going to happen, and concentrate on changing the rules so that gamblers have a real chance of winning, long term, with just a minimal overall loss? That is to say, let’s concentrate on limiting the average loss to gamblers to in the order of 1% for profit to Federal hotels,1% to the pubs and clubs and 1% to the government for tax. That way we all have a chance to gamble on poker machines for a real chance of winning in any betting event, for a fun time, knowing that overall we are going to have minimal losses.

    What I am saying then is … Please let poker machines continue, which we are powerless to stop, and concentrate on reducing the percentage take to the government, and especially to Federal Hotels. Let’s focus on something that has a chance of happening for a significant beneficial effect on gamblers, rather than getting outraged by something that has zero chance of eventuating in our lifetime.

  40. Tony Stone

    December 11, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Easy to get rid of the pokies, even when they have a legal agreement, and there are a number of way to do it.

    Introduce a law so that when ever up to 5 poker machines or any gambling machine is turned on there must be live entertainment in the venue of at least 2 people playing music and not djs. More than 5 machines and you need two sets of musicians playing the entire time.

    Ban children from entering any venue where there is gambling of any kind at any time. That would slow down a lot of people who bring their kids, then dump then in the pub some where.

    Next, introduce a gambling tax of 50% of turnover in all gambling venues. For venues with more than 10 machines, a hourly operating tax for each machine, whether on or off, would do the job and get rid of pokies quickly.

  41. Philip Lowe

    December 10, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Here,there and everywhere,ugly,ugly poker machines.In small pubs in beautiful places,ugly poker machines.Where children sit with family,more ugly poker machines.They are there for an ugly reason.They uglify where ever they blight the atmosphere.The mighty Collrado River was dammed so that places like Las Vegas could be developed using the hydro electricity.What a swap,so much natural beauty in exchange for so much unnatural ugliness.America,USA,is sick.Beware of catching the disease.

  42. john hayward

    December 10, 2017 at 10:01 am

    As long as most of the Tassie electorate doesn’t revolt against our LibLab political duopoly we can’t expect much change in their devotion to Federal Hotels, STT, Tassal, and the rest of the compact little plutocracy they so slavishly serve.

    Despite the existence of different governance models in the outside world, none of them have been recognised as alternatives to Tassie’s legalised kleptocracy.

    John Hayward

  43. John Biggs

    December 9, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    So much common sense backed up with real life statistics, not the sort Federal, Olds and the Liberals mendaciously trot out to the huge detriment of the community.

    I’m reminded as a side thought that when it was pointed out that cruise ships while in port keep their generators churning by emitting very nasty but invisible fumes because they burn very polluting bunker fuel. In Sydney that has been banned. In Hobart the EPA is monitoring the pollution (except on the worst day with 2 ships in port they didn’t monitor) but they are not doing a blind thing about reducing the pollution. Indeed, Hodgman says that cruise ships are bringing much money to spread around the community – which apparently makes it OK to pollute.

    The relevance to this thread is that the Liberals and their mates are interested only in making money. The effects of pollution and poker machines on community health and welfare simply doesn’t matter. We should be very angry indeed about that and ensure that we chuck the rotters out next election.

  44. Stephen Menadue

    December 9, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Thanks John. As if we didn’t already know that the flow on benefits to community would be great from getting rid of the pokies, the Government would have us believe that the increased employment and sporting group t-shirt funding would be of more benefit.

    A child waiting outside a Gaming Lounge for their mum or dad to finish inside paints a picture of exactly how many ways these machines are tearing apart families and values.

    Ask why that child shouldn’t be there and what they might be doing instead and a whole box of questions opens. Any of a number of arguments against the pokies have much value but the destiny of a kid who learns to endure disappointment, anger, resentment and despair because of what they do to his family must be worth any and all consideration for getting rid of them.

  45. Betty

    December 9, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    We should be informed exactly how much and to who (and the date/s) the Farrell Group has donated to each Political Party in Tasmania for the last 40 +(plus) year’s.

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