Clubs warn of new pokies law fallout

THE push to force poker machine betting limits on gamblers will come at a cost to grassroots sport, a local community and sporting club has warned.

Richlands Lions Club general manager Troy Young said the Federal Government's plan to introduce mandatory pre-commitment cards would force the club to make financial cuts, affecting staff and taking needed-funds out of community sporting facilities.

"Last year the club injected thousands into the sporting community," he said.

"But if these pokie laws come through, independent reports show we could lose 30-40% of our revenue and we'd have to start looking at costs with staffing and community benefits."

Mr Young said maintenance of sporting grounds would be affected and parents who wanted to put their children in junior sporting programs would be slugged with extra costs.

"It's a real concern," he said.

The proposal to introduce mandatory pre-commitment cards comes as key federal politicians work to curtail the impact of pokies nationally.

However, ClubsAustralia has told the parliamentary committee on gambling that the Federal Government's plan to force limits on how much people can bet on poker machines would not reduce problem gambling.

Executive Director of ClubsAustralia Anthony Ball told the committee that the technology had failed to reduce problem gambling in Norway, which is the only country in the world to have installed mandatory pre-commitment technology on poker machines.

"The Norwegian Government admits that the rate of problem gambling has actually increased over the past three years," he said.

"Not surprisingly, gamblers have simply switched from poker machines to the internet where credit card betting is allowed."

 

Tell us your thoughts. Email merrin.jagtman@qtcn.com.au



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