#886 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 4 May 2014.
The Tasmanian Government has commissioned a review of the effectiveness of harm minimisation measures for poker machines. In a courageous move, a submission to the review by Anglicare Tasmania has argued that the only effective solution to the devastating public health problem is to get rid of pokies.
This may sound difficult, but all of the State’s 3,572 poker machines are owned by one company, Federal Group, and the Tasmanian Government could, if it wished, decline to renew the licensing agreement when it comes up for review in 2018, and ensure measures were in place for phasing out ahead of that date.
Meanwhile, in Victoria local councils are seeking to introduce new planning laws to stop the spread of poker machines into poor communities.
But Liquor and Gaming Regulation Minister Edward O’Donohue said the Victorian Government had no plans to change the number of gaming machines permitted, or to alter regional caps or municipal limits.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.