Media Release

WA Government introduces Pokies by Stealth

The Australian Christian Lobby has condemned legislation that effectively rips up the long-held bi-partisan approach of limiting pokies to the Casino.

 “It seems only a handful of Liberal MPs were aware of the impact of the legislation as it moved through the lower house last week”, said WA State Director Peter Abetz. 

The TAB (Disposal) Bill 2019 provides for the purchaser of the TAB to have Trackside electronic gaming machines in every TAB outlet in the state.  

“If the offending clause is not blocked in the Legislative Council, we will see a massive increase in gambling harm in Western Australia,” warned Mr Abetz. 

“Currently, West Australians lose only half as much per capita from gambling as their eastern state counterparts for the simple reason we don’t have pokies – and we should keep it that way.” 

Mr Abetz believes the Government’s claim that Trackside will only have a minimal impact in WA is disingenuous because in the eastern states it only generates 3-4% of gambling revenue.  

“What they haven’t told the public is that the market was already flooded with poker machines,” said Mr Abetz. 

“In WA Trackside would be the only form of addictive electronic gaming, its impact could be devastating, as it is mainly people who can least afford it, become addicted to electronic gaming.”  

The Australian Christian Lobby urges all Legislative Council members to consider the dangerous implications this clause would have before voting on the bill. 

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