The NSW Greens are calling on the NSW Liberal and Labor parties to come clean on all political donations they receive from pokies-related interests following shocking allegations in Fairfax newspapers today.
The story alleges hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the pokie industry are kept secret from public scrutiny.
NSW Greens Gambling Harm spokesperson Justin Field said both the NSW Liberal and Labor parties must restore public confidence and disclose all of the gambling-related donations they receive.
“The allegations about hidden political donations from the pokies industry raise serious concerns they are gaming democracy to buy influence and protect the mega-profits they suck out of communities,” he said today.
“We have seen the industry’s access to politicians, the revolving door between gaming-related Ministers and gambling companies and real resistance against stronger protections.
“The special treatment in NSW includes a signed Memorandum of Understanding between the NSW Liberal / National Coalition and Clubs NSW that guarantees the gambling clubs the Coalition Government won’t do anything to harm poker machine profits.
“The community are right to ask, are deals like this what is being bought with the hidden political donations they receive?”
Mr Field said it was immoral for clubs who profit from addictive pokies machine that cause harm within our community to then use the money for donations seeking further influence over politicians and further harming community interests.
“NSW has the most poker machines in Australia and is second only to Nevada on a global scale. The result is a staggering loss of more than $8 billion dollars on these machines each year in NSW.
“The undue influence of this toxic industry and its impacts on people and communities must be kept in check.
“While Federal donation laws need urgent reform and greater transparency, NSW should take immediate action now before those laws are in place. The NSW Liberals and Labor need to restore public confidence and voluntarily provide gambling-related donations information to the public,” Mr Field said.
Link to MOU between NSW Government and Clubs NSW: https://www.clubsnsw.com.au/docs/default-source/default-document-library/advocacy/mou-1014.pdf?sfvrsn=2