New South Wales has more than 88,000 shiny, flashing, jingling poker machines, pulling in more than $ 8 billion a year in profits.
The state has become the Las Vegas of Australia. However, the areas where people spend the most money on pokies are among the most socio-economically disadvantaged.
So why doesn’t the government do more to help?
Listen the full episode to find out:
On today’s This Arvo In Sydney, host Sacha Barbour Gatt and LiSTNR investigation editor Clair Weaver looked into the gambling issues deeply rooted in the city and the government solutions.
Weaver says ClubsNSW is the powerful peak body for clubs and homes to most pokies.
Last year, the club funded overseas travelling for politicians to accompany the ClubsNSW CEO and a group of high school students who won an essay competition to go on a World War II Memorial Tour.
They met up with then Premier Dominic Perrottet in Japan and also travelled with then Veterans Affairs Minister David Elliott, who billed taxpayers $52,000 for him and his staff to take part,”
Weaver says it is legal for them to accept trips founded by New South Wales clubs. However, it begs the question of whether it is healthy for a member of Parliament to be taking paid trips overseas with the CEO of the body that benefits the most from keeping pokies saturating the state.
In the dying weeks of his leadership, ex-premier Dominic Perrottet surprised many by announcing cashless gaming would be introduced if his government retained power,”
The newly elected NSW Premier Chris Minns has also committed to tackling the issue but has offered a less radical approach with cashless gaming on 500 machines.
As an aside, 500 might sound like a lot, but that equates to around half a per cent of NSW’s pokies.”
Hosted by Sacha Barbour, This Arvo in Sydney is a 10 to 12 minute daily news podcast made just for Sydney! Listen now on the Listnr app.