Pokies plan knocked
ANY Federal Government attempt to force poker machine users into a mandatory commitment on the amount of money they are prepared to lose will end the hospitality industry as we know it, claims a Grafton club general manager.
Grafton District Services Club general manager Arthur Lysaught said he strongly disagrees with the plan proposed by Tasmanian Independent Andrew Wilkie to legislate for a mandatory self-commitment for poker machine users to limit the amount they can put through machines each day.
Mr Wilkie said he will put pressure on the Federal Government to honour an election commitment to put these regulations in place by 2014.
However, Mr Lysaught said the regulations go too far and could spell the end of the industry he has worked in for 40 years.
He said Tony Windsor was not going to support it.
“I’m thrilled,” Mr Lysaught said.
“I’m in favour of voluntary commitment, but to make it mandatory smacks of Big Brother.”
However, Grafton Salvation Army captain Keith Atkinson believes Mr Wilkie’s idea has merit.
“I’m not really up on it, but the idea of limiting the amount of money a person can put through a machine seems to be something that might work,” he said.
“You often hear the story of the bloke who goes to the club and plans to put a few dollars through the pokies, but ends up gambling his entire wage.
"Those people are addicts and need to have some help with their problems.”
Mr Atkinson said the Salvation Army has help lines available and can refer problem gamblers to professional help services.
“But it’s vital the person sees his problem first,” he said.