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More porky pies from pokies pushers: Greens

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 11 Nov 2011

Greens’ spokesperson for gambling, Senator Richard Di Natale, said that the pokies industry claims about the cost of the Greens  $1 bet policy is based on false foundations.

“It’s time for the pokies pushers to stop selling porky pies because the public aren’t buying,” said Senator Di Natale

“The outlandish claims of a $3 billion cost for converting to $1 bet limits assumes that all machines would need to be changed overnight.

“But that is not our policy and the industry is well aware of this fact.

“The 2017 timeline for this policy means that the total cost would be no more than $200 million because many machines won't need to be retrofitted.”

“By 2017 all machines under 5 years old would already have $1 bet limits, all 10 year old machines can be fully depreciated and replaced. The ones in between can be cheaply converted in an economy of scale, and in many cases by remote software upgrade. We would even allow a two year grace period for small venues.

The Greens costings have been backed up as the most generous estimate by Dr Charles Livingstone, Deputy Head of the Department of Health Social Science, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University.

“The industry claims would be like saying the cost of introducing digital television included the cost of immediately retrofitting every television that existed the day after the policy was announced a decade ago.

“Their claims exist in a fact free zone. Even if our policy was for an overnight conversion, the claims would still have no basis in reality.”

Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600

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