By Clyde Mooney

In the next phase of the ‘un-Australian’ campaign against mandatory pre-commitment on poker machines, Clubs Australia and the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) will soon be blanketing member venues in marginal electorates with posters and banners featuring local MPs.

The signs, up to 1.5 metres long, will supposedly sport the face of the local member, asking them by name ‘Why don’t you stand up for our community?’.

New South Wales MPs are already feeling the heat of the anti-legislation spin by Clubs Australia and the AHA, reportedly distancing themselves from the government’s promise.

One of the MPs destined to be targeted, Janelle Saffin from the northern NSW marginal seat of Page, has already stated: “My personal position is I would prefer voluntary pre-commitment”.

Mike Kelly, the MP for Eden-Monaro, has also stated a voluntary scheme is his preference, after citing concerns for the impact the mandatory system would have on clubs in his electorate.

He also reiterates the need for trials using different schemes to assess impact and success, which follows from the recommendations made by the Joint Select Committee on gambling reform.

The efforts to prevent the reforms come ahead of an ultimatum by independent MP Andrew Wilkie to have Gillard’s government introduce mandatory pre-commitment by 2014, or risk losing his majority-making support.

The fear of a $40 million technology bill and an untold drop in revenue, has pubs and clubs around the country fearing the legislation will put them out of business.

The influence of large-scale pub, club and sporting bodies around the country may yet see Wilkie’s threat become meaningless as a number of Labor MPs speculate on withdrawing their vote for the reforms.

Some have described the reaction to the MPC legislation as ‘worse than the carbon tax’.


The Shout Team

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

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1 Comment

  1. Get over it, gambling industry! Your clubs are not the only businesses that rely upon pokies, to fleece innocent people of their life opportunities…and I am speaking about the estimated TEN others whom every addicted pokies gambler HURTS! Spend all the promo. money you like…ask for all the trials you like…delay as much as you try to do…it is inevitable that the Australian public does NOT support your games. A new survey has shown that for all the money that was spent by clubs on its promo so far…public opinion has barely altered and MOST people are still sticking by Wilkie. The public will never forget what pokies have done to their loved ones and businesses that fell in the path of the corrupt pokies gambling ‘legal fleecing’ scheme. Tell pubs and clubs to find healthier, more self-disciplined, responsible, cleaner forms of trading…and stop the carnage that has been created. We will BAN pokies if you do not like a sensible balance that is being offered.

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