The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has commented on the deal between Federal Group and hotels and clubs concerning the future of poker machines in Tasmania.

“The State Government must not accept this grubby deal stitched up between the Federal Group and hotels and clubs,” Mr Wilkie said.

“This deal will not remove a single poker machine from hotels and clubs. It will do nothing to reduce gambling addiction and it will do nothing to reduce the money lost in suburbs like Glenorchy where nearly $2 million a month is lost on poker machines.

“The expiry of the current licence in 2023 is the perfect opportunity to restrict poker machines to the casinos and if pubs and clubs are told that now then they’ll have plenty of time to prepare for the change.

“The community overwhelmingly want either fewer poker machines in pubs and clubs or want them gone altogether. They don’t want the Government to do another outrageous deal with the industry like they did in 1993 and 2003.

“To roll over and capitulate to the poker machine industry yet again would be a shocking betrayal of the public interest.”