Tasmanian Times

Economy

Pokies: Two rippers from John Lawrence …

• Pokie reflections …

By all accounts Labor’s policy to remove pokies from communities after 2023 was unexpected.

However the risks involved when the gaming monopoly expires has previously been discussed by both parties to the arrangement, the government and Federal Group.

Treasury head Don Challen told a hearing of the Public Accounts Committee on 16th July 2003 which was looking at a premature extension of the original deal due to expire in 2009:

“I did say to Mr Farrell across the negotiating table a number of times that ‘Come 1 January 2009 you don’t have a business’. I put a reasonableness test on the outcomes we get from the negotiations and if I didn’t think they were reasonable in the interests of the Tasmanian community I would have kept pushing Mr Farrell until I got him to the point where I thought we had a reasonable outcome. In the back of his head he knows that legal possibility of the licence coming to an end is there and that is a discipline on him to come to the negotiations with a realistic attitude.”

Quite clearly both parties negotiated the 2003 deed extension with a sunset clause in full knowledge the punch bowl may be removed in 2023. If Federal Group have a risk management strategy there’s little doubt what should be number one on the list.

The last bit of Mr Challen’s comment is significant …

Read more, TASFINTALK, here

• Will the sky fall in if pokies are removed?

The sky will fall in if pokies are removed from regional Tasmania?

The impending devastation will be obvious from the figures. A close look at say the Braddon electorate, will reveal all, surely? It’s the most regional of the Tasmanian electorate, the most distant from the State’s two casinos and currently home to 730 or 30% of EGMs outside casinos.

Alas the figures fail to give any support for Federal Group’s doomsday predictions.

Treasury modelled the effects of EGM removal for the recent parliamentary inquiry. Unbundling the model and introducing the latest figures for player losses from the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission for venues gives a detailed look at Braddon …

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.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Greg James

    December 23, 2017 at 12:26 am

    A quick reference guide to pokies is the 2010 report by the Competition Commission that refers to the superior skills of the employees engaged in Electronic Gaming Machines as making these employees highly employable elsewhere.
    I would expect a concerted campaign of trolls and employees of Federal Hotels to present a threat to their jobs. When in reality the real fear is change. Each time change has been forced onto a recalcitrant industry like the Hotels, their sales have jumped. I know this from 22 years as a publican.
    The idea of compensating these parasite owners is superfluous to needs as they all invested knowing that there was a designated end in 2009 and then 2023.

  2. Chris

    December 20, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Do a Ferguson solution walk about a lot.
    Interesting that the staff at Wrest Point have an enormous meeting.
    I feel as non mining tax campaign coming on.
    Anyone could tell from the chief supremo’s utterances that the Bribe- oops donation money will be used as a prop by the Liebrals to pursue their monopolistic ideals.
    Will Ferguson be able to Wal;k about a lot still?

  3. TV Resident

    December 19, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Pubs and clubs did very well as community hubs before poker machines were introduced. Hotels used to have live bands and dancing, caberets, stand up comedians, pool tables, darts, meals among other entertainments in the past, but since the horrible machines were intoduced it appears to be meals, booze and gambling and nothing else.

  4. Ted Mead

    December 19, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    More astute number crunching by JL !

    Anyone with half a brain knows that pokies are an economical loss to local communities. Fortunately John can irrefutably prove the strong case against retaining them.

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