The NSW Greens have echoed interstate counterparts, revealing a pre-election proposal to phase poker machines out of pubs and clubs.
Under the multi-billion-dollar plan proposed by the NSW Greens in the lead-up to the March election – which currently has three MPs in NSW Parliament and eight per cent of the vote – poker machines would disappear from pubs and clubs across the state over the next decade. EGMs would be phased out of pubs within five years, and within clubs in ten.
The ‘Pull the Pin on Pokies’ plan proposes to help venues access alternative revenue streams and redirect current revenue to support problem gambling services.
“Our plan would repair the harm pokies have wrought on our communities and reduce the social costs of gambling by at least $87 billion over a decade,” NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann said.
“We call on both major parties to commit to these urgently needed reforms ahead of the March election.”
Venues would pay more to the NSW Government under the plan, with a pokie “super tax” of 60 per cent across pubs and clubs, increasing by five per cent every year, for a “perpetual community fund”.
The Victorian arm of the Greens party announced a similar policy in November.
The Greens are also backing the introduction of a cashless gaming card, currently being trialled by Wests Newcastle and Aristocrat.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said he would seek advice on implementing the cashless gaming card but is yet to announce a full strategy on gaming reform ahead of the March election.
After weeks of hedging on the issue, NSW Labor leader Chris Minns said Labor would be prepared to pursue cashless gaming reform, depending on the outcomes of the Wests trial.
“We are prepared to pursue that reform, but we want to understand what the scale and ramifications of that reform will be,” Minns told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I don’t think that’s an unreasonable position to take to the next election, but I’m prepared to deal with the judgement of the voters of NSW as a result of that position.”