The back and forth argument that is pokie machine reform in Australia looks like it will rumble on for a while yet. The anti pokie-reform side of the debate looks to have scored the go ahead goal as another independent MP is up against the plans.
Rob Oakeshott is against any plans that will have a detrimental effect on the clubs in his constituency after a public meeting that he had with the some 150 club owners in his mid-north coast seat.
Oakeshott says that he supports “an evidence-based approach”, and his vote is thought to be crucial at Federal level after Tony Windsor stated that he’d be unlikely to give his support late last week.
Clubs Australia were also present at the meeting, and their boss Anthony Ball, never short of a few words, told the AAP, “Rob (Oakeshott) said he would have difficulty supporting anything that would hurt his local clubs or shut them down.”
This was after he’d warned the independent MP that the reforms would cost 267 jobs and $22million in his constituency alone.
To support their fight against reforms Clubs Australia also announced the launch of a $20million marketing campaign.
In addition, The Age is reporting that any reforms may take on a different guise to the legislation currently on the table.
It’s believed that a ‘hybrid’ system may be introduced to try to gain the support the bill needs. Before you all start to say, “no it’s fine, I’ve got a Prius,” we’re not talking about anything to do with the environment. Far from it.
The new plans would enable mandatory pre-commitment technology to be rolled out on high-intensity machines whereas low-intensity pokies will have no such bar.
It’s a plan that’s supported by Dr Charles Livingstone and Dr Richard Woollet, who told a parliamentary gaming inquiry that low-intensity machines, with maximum bets as long as 50¢ should be free for all to use without sign ups.