|Issue No 122||07 December 2001|
Workers Call for Patrons Before Pokies
The LHMU Hotel Union has called for pokie venues to put more back into communities before more gaming machines are introduced.
A submission to the Tasmanian Legislative Council Select Committee on Impacts of Gaming Machines by the LHMU Hotel Union has questioned the need for expansion of gaming machines in hotels, Tim Ferrari, LHMU Assistant National Secretary said.
The submission advocates some radical new steps that should be taken by government and the industry before further expansions occurs. They include:
· An assessment of wishes of patrons of clubs and pubs as to whether more poker machines are desired or welcome in terms of venue amenity, facilities then available or activities foregone.
· Guarantees should be sought by government, that venues provide an enhanced range of services, facilities, amenities, non gaming activities, events, promotions or venue modifications to maintain or enhance the attractiveness of a venue for non gaming activities.
· Mandatory security requirements to protect employees from trauma, injury or death arising from the increasing attractiveness of such venues to criminals by robbery with violence.
· Hotels being required to state how gaming machine profits are to be distributed in terms of sponsorships, donations to community groups and on improved services and facilities for patrons.
· Additional contributions of poker machine profits to be made directly to the health budget for initiatives to assist people to kick the smoking habit associated with much gaming machine usage.
" On the basis of the statistics available the union is unconvinced that the introduction of gaming machines has done anything to increase employment in the industry," Tim Ferrari said.
" In the process many families and individuals have been turned off going to pubs that resemble a pokie den rather than a comfortable relaxing and friendly place to socalise."
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