Government’s Poker Machine Reforms set to cost Central West $35M

The Federal Government’s proposed changes to poker machines will cost businesses in Sydney’s eastern suburbs $35 million.

A meeting of local clubs at Dubbo RSL Memorial Club has been called for today to discuss the future of clubs and their staff, their contractors and the local businesses who will all suffer flow-on effects from the introduction of mandatory pre-commitment technology.

The Federal Government supported technology will cost 485 local club jobs and reduce local club income by $40 million.

A KPMG report also shows mandatory pre-commitment will cost NSW clubs at least 11,500 jobs and reduce the NSW budget by more than $1 billion over the next 4 years.

ClubsNSW Chairman Peter Newell said the outlook for clubs in the Central West is dire if the Federal Government supports mandatory pre-commitment.

‘If clubs close, so do the bakers, butchers, cleaners, electricians and other local businesses that rely on us,’’ he said.

‘’For every one person employed in a club, another 2 jobs are created indirectly.

‘’Unemployment lines will be filled with club workers and those of local businesses- all in the name of a costly mandatory pre-commitment system that experts have predicted will do nothing to help problem gamblers.’’

Mr Newell said a more effective solution would be to introduce a voluntary pre-commitment system that will empower problem gamblers without making social punters register for a license.

‘It is extremely irresponsible for a government to roll out technology that will cost the industry more than $3 billion and claim tens of thousands of jobs without first taking the time to trial it to determine its effectiveness. The Government appears to be more interested in keeping Andrew Wilkie happy than protecting the jobs of people in the Central West.”

Dubbo RSL Memorial Club $3,300,000
Orange Ex-Services Club $2,670,000
Bathurst RSL Club $1,890,000
Lithgow & District Workmens Club $2,130,000
Mudgee Soldiers Club $1,275,000
Forbes Services Memorial Club $1,215,000

Meeting: Dubbo RSL Memorial Club, 184 Brisbane St and Cnr Winewarra St, Dubbo. Sunday, 24 July, 10am.