Aussie Plan to Phase Pokies Out of Pubs

13 March 2008

Australian Senators will explore the prospect of putting new taxes on poker machines and phasing them completely out of clubs and pubs within ten years.

The scheme is presented in the Poker Machine Harm Reduction Tax, which was referred by the Senate to an inquiry yesterday. The Community Affairs Committee will consider the bill and report to Parliament around late June.

Family First Senator Steve Fielding, the man leading the legislative push, says poker machines have ensnared a massive number of problem gamblers and are detrimental to communities. Fielding said of the plan: "It gives time to the state governments to de-addict themselves to the pokies revenue - they are hopelessly addicted to it and quite clearly we need federal intervention."

Poker machines in licensed casinos would not be subject to the phasing-out standards.