Australia is addicted to pokies. We’re home to 20% of the world's pokie machines - more machines per person than any country in the world - and we feed them $12 billion each year. Close to half of this money lost to pokie machines comes from problem gamblers.
Pokie machines and problem gambling lead to domestic violence, family breakdown, financial stress, and suicide.
In South Australia, it’s calculated that the overall cost of problem gambling is more than $1.6 billion per year. That is four times the total taxes received from gambling the South Australian government collected in 2015-16.
Pokies destroy lives, families and communities, but because of the immediate revenue black-hole of millions from the billions lost in pokie machines, the State Government does nothing.
We need a national solution to curb the State Governments’ pokies revenue addiction.
Nationally, the ALP and the Coalition won’t act - they don’t want to risk the millions they get from the gambling industry.
Last year alone the gambling industry donated over $4.6 million to the major parties.
The Greens always put people before profit, and we don’t accept donations from gambling companies.
Our ‘Putting an End to Pokies’ Plan will remove the revenue incentive that encourages States to keep letting pokies destroy lives, families and communities, so we can set an example for the rest of the nation and phase-out pokies for good.
The Greens will:
- Make machine owners pay, by introducing a Commonwealth levy on pokie machines at a fixed price per machine
- Fill the state revenue shortfall, by using those levies for a Commonwealth compensation fund, paid out annually to states once they agree to phase out pokies
- Freeze the pokies, by ensuring State Governments may only access the compensation fund once they commit to freezing pokies licenses
- Put an end to pokies, by ensuring State Governments may only access the compensation fund as they phase out pokie machine licenses for good
- Call for a conscience vote on poker machines from all parties in the South Australian Parliament
- Set a target to phase out all poker machines from pubs and clubs in South Australia over the next 5 years
- Progressively increase the tax paid by the Adelaide Casino on their poker machines, in recognition of the monopoly created