Greens share Barnett fears on pokies, seek clarity

Greens (WA) MLC Robin Chapple said today that he shared Premier Colin Barnett’s fears on any possible expansion of poker machines into Western Australia.

However, he said that both Mr. Barnett and Julia Gillard needed to release their respective legal advice on the effect of the Commonwealth gambling reforms to clarify the matter.

“I would like to see the Commonwealth Government state emphatically that its reform agenda with regards to poker machine operations would not allow pokies into the state by stealth, as the Premier has suggested,” Mr. Chapple said.

“Given the current state of disagreement between the camps, I would like to see both the State and Commonwealth governments release their advice on the matter.”

Mr. Chapple, who is the Greens spokesperson for Racing and Gaming, said that The Greens are absolutely opposed to any expansion of poker machine operations in the State.

“These machines create enormous problems with problem gambling, and there is currently no upper limit on how much punters can lose on them – it is a parasitic industry and the revenue they generate is in effect generated from a legal form of addiction.”

“I appreciate the aims of the Commonwealth reforms but if there is any possibility that they would allow – even unintentionally – pokie expansion in WA then the Gillard government needs to go back to the drawing board and tighten their policy.”

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255

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