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Political, Union

Unions push phased pokie reduction

Unions NSW 2 mins read

The Annual General Meeting of Unions NSW has resolved to push for a phased reduction in poker machine numbers over the next five years to bring the state closer to the number of pokies per head of population in Queensland and Victoria.


A motion passed at last night’s AGM calls for NSW to reduce the number of poker machines in the state by at least 25,000 over the next five years. It notes that NSW currently has more poker machines than Queensland and Victoria combined. While there are approximately 227 people for every pokie in Victoria and 109 per pokie in Queensland, the figure drops to just 95 people per pokie in NSW.


“The brutal truth about poker machines is that supply creates demand, and in turn, misery,” Unions NSW Secretary, Mark Morey said. 


“NSW has too many pokies, pure and simple and we need to start the process of winding them back.”


The amendment recommends a moratorium on granting new poker machine licences in pubs and clubs and cancelling poker machine licences where establishments close or seek to relocate those licences.


To help finance the shift, the $1 billion tax subsidy for poker machines installed in registered clubs would be redirected to compensate for the removal of licences. 


“It’s not beyond our political will and policy imagination to reduce the social damage created by poker machines through a phased reduction. Unions are ready to work cooperatively with the state government on a robust reform process.”


The amendment also calls on the federal government to prohibit online gambling inducements and inducement advertising as recommended in You win some, you lose more: Online Gambling and its impacts on those experiencing gambling harm report and legislate a comprehensive ban on all gambling advertising on all broadcast and online media, and phase this in over a three year period.


Contact: Mark Morey ‭+61 425 231 812‬ 

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