Greens MLC Justin Field has called out the hypocrisy of the NSW Government and Opposition over their statement confirming no pokies will be in the Crown Barangaroo development, citing how both major parties supported law change in Parliament last year that has boosted gambling losses from poker machines in pubs and clubs across the state, locking in harm to our communities.
Greens Gambling Harm spokesperson Justin Field said, “The Greens are absolutely opposed to poker machines in the Barangaroo Casino but the majority of gambling harm being caused by poker machines in NSW is coming from the 90,000 machines in clubs and hotels across the state.
“While the Coalition and Labor are posturing on Barangaroo, they are silent on the fact that NSW has the highest rate of poker machine losses of any jurisdiction anywhere in the world and one of the highest density of machines.
“The Coalition Government has a formal agreement with the pokies clubs not to harm their profits and Labor has a direct financial interest in poker machines through a number of Labour clubs.
“It’s utter hypocrisy to make grand media statements about Barangaroo when there is already legislation in place to prevent pokies at that venue. Meanwhile, both the Coalition and Labor teamed up in Parliament last year to pass new laws which have seen pokies losses soar across the state.
“Gambling harm from pokies is directly linked to housing insecurity and homelessness, family breakdown, domestic violence and suicide but we still see these damaging machines and the profits to the big clubs and corporate hotel owners protected by both sides of Government.
“Gambling losses are set to hit more than $7bn a year by 2021 under the policies supported by both the Coalition and Labor.
“The Greens are calling for a Special Commission of Inquiry into the influence of the gambling and racing industries on NSW politics.
“We need to dramatically reduce the number of machines in NSW, introduce maximum $1 bets to reduce the impact on those suffering from gambling addiction, and take much stronger action on clubs and hotel owners breaking gambling laws.