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Pokies Limits Likely to Cost Australian Hotels Up To $4B

Written by:
Greg Tingle
Published on:
Feb/16/2011
Pokies Limits Australia

Pokies limits Likely To Cost Hotels Up To $4b'...

The Hotels Association says it would cost the industry up to $4 billion to comply with proposed new laws for pokies. The Federal Government aims to force gamblers to set limits on how much money they are prepared to lose before they play machines.

But the Australian Hotels Association says the scheme would drive people to other forms of gambling, like illegal or online, and lead down the road to job losses. John Whelan from the Association has told anyone that would listen at a Parliamentary inquiry half of all machines would need to be replaced.

"What's being asked of the industry this time around will involve a multi-billion dollar capital cost. It's very unlikely that those many venues or most venues around (have) the cash to do that, and it's equally unlikely that the banks will lend them the money to fund that capital cost."

Proposed Pokie Laws Will Send Smaller Clubs Broke...

Industry group, Clubs New South Wales, says the cost of complying with proposed new poker machine laws will send clubs across the region broke and put thousands out of work. The Productivity Commission has told a parliamentary inquiry, responsible hotels and clubs will barely notice the impact on revenue from the proposed laws designed to help problem gamblers.

The new laws would require individuals to register and nominate a maximum spend amount and then use a USB card in converted machines. Clubs NSW Hunter spokesman, John Chin says his Hexham club will have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to convert 87 poker machines.

"We're talking around $400,000 just to be compliant. I'm sure it's not going to do what they think it's going to do and that's to help the problem gambler."

Chin says he understands the Prime Minister's dilemma, but she needs to understand the impact it will have on local clubs and 5,000 Hunter jobs. She had given him the agreement that she would push this through.

"We are fighting basically a life and death struggle for us and we are not going to give way, saying they can have it their way. We will fight this to the very end."

Greg Tingle is a Special Contributor to the Gambling911.com website and Founder of Media Man International

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