Today the Premier and Opposition leader were given another clear example of the Tasmanian community’s support for positive change on poker machines.

Will Hodgman and Rebecca White were presented with an open letter from Tasmanian business owners wanting poker machines removed from hotels and clubs.

“Local communities want to be free of poker machines at the end of the current licence,” said John Stubley from the Community Voice on Pokies Reform coalition. “Tasmanians are urging political leaders to share our vision of vibrant, healthy communities, rather than locking us into a future where lives continue to be ruined by poker machines”. The widespread availability of poker machines is linked to family breakdown, depression, financial hardship, health problems, crime, work issues and suicide.

The Community Voice on Pokies Reform coalition now stands at 53 member groups, with more to come. Members include community groups, peak bodies, professional associations, church groups, unions and local councils – together representing tens of thousands of Tasmanians.

An online open letter calling for poker machines to be removed from hotels and clubs has over 4000 signatures, with more being added each day.

“Momentum is building ahead of the state election – this is an issue people care about and that will help them to decide between parties,” Mr Stubley said. “The right choice for political leaders is to listen to the Tasmanian people and take these machines out of our neighbourhoods”.