By Andrew Starke

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner have committed the NSW Government to fighting poker machines reforms because of the impact they could have on jobs and local clubs.

The deadline for the Federal Government to reach a deal on pre-commitment for poker machines on the Gillard-Wilkie reforms expired last week.

“If the Gillard-Wilkie reforms proceed, it will cost NSW taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and up to 16,000 jobs across the clubs industry,” O’Farrell said.

“The NSW Liberals and Nationals Government supports voluntary pre-commitment programs where people feel the need to limit their spending, but we will not be held to ransom by a Tasmanian member of the Federal Parliament who secured less than 14,000 votes,” he said.

“If Federal Labor proceeds with this ill-considered reform, there has to be compensation paid to NSW for the revenue we will lose.

“Otherwise, we will be looking to the Commonwealth to tell the people of NSW which hospitals, which schools, which police stations and which other facilities are going to be closed or not built.”

Stoner said it was time the NSW Labor Leader came clean on his position.

“Around two thirds of registered clubs in this State are in regional NSW, and all those clubs are important to regional communities and worth fighting for,” he said.

“As Leader of the NSW Nationals, I am often invited to clubs right across regional NSW and have seen firsthand the central role they play in communities.

“Regional clubs employ over 25,000 people – frighteningly, it is estimated 6,721 employees will lose their jobs as a result of the Gillard/Wilkie deal.

“We are not prepared to stand idly by as thousands of jobs across regional NSW disappear and we will continue to stand up for clubs and regional communities,” he added.


The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

Join the Conversation


  1. It’s great to finally see some sense coming into play with Poker Machine reform. The impact on the club and Hotel industry is likley to be beyond the imaginable. Gambling is certainly not new to the modern civilization and is certainley not controlled by poker machine gaming. Hotel owner / operators, tenants and investors have purchased properties and leasehold interests vesting vast amounts of hard earned cash and accumulated equity on returns calculated around and largly driven by gaming revenue. The ability to sustain financial commitments, employ staff and exist in a tough economic climate is jepardised severely by the proposed reforms. Wake up Julia and listen to the people for once

  2. Mr O’Farrell use of the words “Ill considered” demean the 11 years of study of this issue by the Productivity Commission. It demeans the hundreds of submissions, weeks of public inquiries and the consultation with pokie pubs and clubs.
    Instead, Mr O’Farrell should be adopting the moderate consumer protection measures recommended by the Productivity Commission.

  3. “If the Gillard-Wilkie reforms proceed, it will cost NSW taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and up to 16,000 jobs across the clubs industry,” O’Farrell said.

    What a load of rot that statement is? It is well proven that pokies end up COSTING taxpayers TRIPLE what they originally made…and it is also well proven that the pokies industry employs only a half or a third of employees that other industries do eg retail. So if we BANNED pokies we would end up with MORE jobs available…not LESS! Besides…money now spent on pokies would simply be spent elsewhere and the tax would still flow more safey….with MUCH less cost to taxpayers than NOW! It is they who pay the huge pokies-related health and welfare costs. Clubs and govts. are not telling the whole story by far!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *