By Clyde Mooney
Clubs Australia has once again slammed the proposed reforms to poker machine gambling, this time backed by strong independent research.
Multinational Deutsche Bank has released the results of a study that predicts gaming revenue will be reduced by 30 to 40 percent, translating to an annual loss of income of between $4.9 and $6.4 billion.
The report also predicts that the cost of implementing mandatory pre-commitment (MPC) on the country’s 200,000 poker machines, including linking them to a national database, would be up to $5 billion.
Clubs Australia believes this would amount to a financial wipe-out for clubs and pubs.
“Some of Australia’s leading gambling academics have indicated MPC will not achieve a reduction in the rate of problem gambling,” says Anthony Ball, executive director of Clubs Australia.
“The Productivity Commission recommended to the Federal Government that this technology should be trialled, and with good reason.
“Clubs and hotels employ more than 180,000 people directly. Tens of thousands more are employed through sectors such as food, cleaning, security and tourism that won’t have a job if local clubs and pubs no longer exist. “
The report by Deutsche Bank also expresses doubt over the future of the reforms.
“We remain of the view these recommendations will not likely be passed as we do not believe they will be supported by the independents.”
The Gillard government has until budget time 2012 to either implement the reforms or risk losing the support of the pivotal independent that initiated the debate, Andrew Wilkie.
The Deutsche Bank report can be viewed by clicking here.