Tuesday 25 June 2024

Contact 1800 772 679

Contact 1800 772 679

The magazine of the Public Service Association of NSW and the Community and Public Sector Union (NSW Branch)

NSW Unions Take On A Social Manace

NSW Unions Take On A Social Manace

A campaign aims to cut the state’s dependence on poker machines.

The PSA CPSU NSW has thrown its support behind a Unions NSW campaign to cut the number of poker machines ruining people’s lives in the state’s pubs and clubs.

Unions NSW passed a resolution for a moratorium on granting new poker machine licences in pubs and clubs and the removal, over five years, of 25,000 machines from gaming lounges throughout the state.

The resolution calls for poker machine licences in venues that close to be removed from use, rather than moved to another venue.

“Unions NSW acknowledges a complete ban on poker machines is unrealistic,” reads the resolution. “However, there is a need to phase down the number of poker machines in our state, strengthen the fragmented and weak regulatory frameworks which govern gambling and commit additional funding for preventative educational and support measures for individuals and communities. Unions NSW notes gambling has both a direct and indirect effect on workers employed in venues where poker machines are located and this, as a work, health and safety issue, must be considered in policy decisions by government, including implementing compulsory training on gambling harm for anyone working in a gambling facility.”

PSA CPSU NSW General Secretary Stewart Little said it was “the right thing to do” to support the Unions NSW resolution.

“Unions are about protecting our communities,” he said. “And this blight on our communities is an issue we cannot ignore. Our state is plagued with them.

It has 30 per cent more poker machines than Victoria and Queensland combined. “NSW has 87,298 gaming machines in clubs, hotels and the Star Casino. “It is the poor who suffer. These machines are concentrated in low-income parts of the state, where they are ripping money from households already struggling with the cost of living.”

The four highest local authorities for poker machine expenditure for the first nine months of 2022 were Canterbury- Bankstown, Fairfield, Cumberland and Blacktown.

“Organisations such as ours are obliged to join the fight to cut the damage poker machines are doing to our state,” said

Mr Little. “The clubs lobby is assuring us their poker machine profits are directed to the communities in which they operate, however last year it was revealed the biggest beneficiaries of the revenues are the clubs themselves and their directors. NSW is being conned.”

The NSW Crime Commission labelled the state the “gambling capital of Australia” because of the vast sums of cash flowing through poker machines.

In a recent report, the commission recommended reform after reports criminal organisations were laundering money through poker machines. In addition, many people were committing crimes to finance their poker machine habits.

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