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Welcome spotlight on pokies and crime

30 Nov 2021

The Alliance for Gambling Reform says a NSW Crime Commission inquiry into money laundering via poker machines is much needed, but a lack of focus on the role of pub and club management in this scandal is most disappointing.

Tim Costello, the Chief Advocate for the Alliance says:

“Despite an open appeal from the head of the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, clear evidence from police, and pressure from ourselves and others who are only interested in cleaning up NSW, the Premier has refused to do the right thing.

“This is despite the NSW Premier earlier this year acknowledging that pokies were a blight on our communities. We expected he would resist the power of the industry and announce an inquiry, but instead it’s been left up to the NSW Crime Commission to independently commence this desperately needed investigation.

“We have grave concerns that behind this hesitation from Dom Perrottet is the gambling industry, led by ClubsNSW and the AHA, repeating their usual tactics. In the same way they bulldozed Andrew Wilkie aside in 2011, and interfered with the Tasmanian and Victorian State elections, they are at it again wielding political influence to protect their financial interests.

“The Premier needs to stand strong against this subversion of the political process that is solely against the community’s interests. We call on the Premier to allow Gambling Minister Victor Dominello to continue his reform agenda, or at least commit to this agenda continuing if Minister Dominello is moved to another portfolio.

“NSW does not need a Gambling Minister with a financial conflict of interest. It needs a Gambling Minister with a track record of standing up to the industry and prioritising the reduction of harm from gambling.

“It’s time we heard from other MPs - the ALP, the Greens, the SFF and the Indies. What’s more important in NSW - a safe community pub and club sector free of organised crime and gambling harm, or a series of profit taking dens of misery?”

Media contact: Martin Thomas – 0477 340 704

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