By Clyde Mooney

Clubs Australia has called on Tasmanian Independent MP Andrew Wilkie to stop blocking genuine poker machine reform after his renewed bid to pressure the Federal Government to take stronger action on the issue.

In February Wilkie addressed his supporters in Denison with a letter announcing the removal of his support for the Gillard Government, claiming dissatisfaction with attempts to adhere to his demands for poker machine reform.

Three months later, believing his hand has been strengthened by the turmoil engulfing the Federal Parliament, he is again pushing for stronger reforms.

Clubs Australia has questioned his motives in the face of what they believe is genuine progress, including an industry-led scheme for voluntary pre-commitment and counselling funding for problem gamblers.

Clubs has accused the Tasmanian MP of using the topic to gain notoriety and publicity rather than actually help those affected, claiming he has "refused all industry offers to meet with him to discuss problem gambling".

Executive director, Anthony Ball, hit out at Wilkie, suggesting that a politician with such minimal support threatening the Federal Government is not fit for office.

"I've heard it called political opportunism. I think political delusion is a far more appropriate description."

Speaking to TheShout, CEO of the Gaming Technologies Association, Ross Ferrar, said no progress will be made on the issue "until somebody decides exactly what they want".

"For all we know, the next thought bubble will be a 5th wheel on every car and it has to be installed tomorrow!"

The Shout Team

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

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