Clubs call for pokies reform trial

TWEED licensed clubs are backing a call from Clubs Australia for the Federal Government to trial its mandatory pre-commitment technology on poker machines so the full impact can be known before any parliamentary vote is taken.

Club representatives from across the NSW north coast were due to meet and discuss the issue today.

More than 80 local club representatives plan to get together at the Ballina RSL to discuss the controversial pokie licence technology being demanded by Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie.

According to Clubs Australia a trial of the experimental pokie licence technology was recommended by the Productivity Commission 16 months ago.

It says a trial is also supported by the Salvation Army, Lifeline, and many of Australia's leading gambling researchers.

Clubs NSW national affairs manager Jonathan Chew plans to speak at today's meeting.

"This technology would cost local clubs $122 million to install," he said.

"The flow-on effects will be dire for local clubs and the entire community.

"For the sake of clubs and the local communities they support, the Federal Government needs to ensure any reform of gambling laws are based on evidence.

"Handing a gambling card to a problem gambler makes about as much sense as issuing drink vouchers to an alcoholic."



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