By Amelia Ball
Poker machines could be phased out over the next ten years under a radical new Federal tax plan.
The legislation, introduced by Family First’s Senator Steve Fielding last month, suggests gaming machines be confined to casinos and race tracks.
The legislation would also involve gradual tax increases imposed on individual poker machines in pubs and clubs, rendering them non-profitable within five to 10 years. All revenue from the tax would be held in a trust fund to help community and sporting groups through the transition.
Senator Fielding said gambling-addicted state governments were incapable of weaning themselves off surging poker machine taxes. Family First wants pokies to be restricted to dedicated gambling venues. Long-time anti-pokie campaigner Nick Xenophon is also determined to brings his message to Federal Parliament mid-year.