By Andrew Starke

The Federal Government’s proposed changes to poker machine legislation will reduce club income in New South Wales, with businesses in the central west alone expected to lose $35 million.

This is the view of ClubsNSW which also expects jobs in the region to be slashed.

A meeting of local clubs at Dubbo RSL Memorial Club yesterday (July 24) concluded that the introduction of pre-commitment technology would cost 485 local club jobs and reduce local club income by $40 million.

The discussion centered on the future of clubs and their staff, their contractors and the local businesses who ClubsNSW believe will all suffer flow-on effects from the introduction of mandatory pre-commitment technology.

The clubs body, which is vigorously opposed to the reforms proposed by independent Andrew Wilkie, again cited a KPMG report which found that mandatory pre-commitment will cost NSW clubs at least 11,500 jobs and reduce the NSW budget by more than $1 billion over the next four years.

ClubsNSW Chairman Peter Newell said the outlook for clubs in the Central West is dire if the Federal Government supports mandatory pre-commitment.

”If clubs close, so do the bakers, butchers, cleaners, electricians and other local businesses that rely on us,” he said.

”For every one person employed in a club, another 2 jobs are created indirectly.

”Unemployment lines will be filled with club workers and those of local businesses- all in the name of a costly mandatory pre-commitment system that experts have predicted will do nothing to help problem gamblers.”

According to Newell, a more effective solution would be to introduce a voluntary pre-commitment system that will empower problem gamblers without making social punters register for a license.

‘It is extremely irresponsible for a government to roll out technology that will cost the industry more than $3 billion and claim tens of thousands of jobs without first taking the time to trial it to determine its effectiveness,” he said.

”The Government appears to be more interested in keeping Andrew Wilkie happy than protecting the jobs of people in the Central West.”

ClubsNSW estimates of the installation cost of mandatory pre-commitment systems at specific venues:

Dubbo RSL Memorial Club

Orange Ex-Services Club

Bathurst RSL Club

Lithgow & District Workmens Club

Mudgee Soldiers Club

Forbes Services Memorial Club


The Shout Team

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