Business Chamber backs Clubs NSW

THE NORTHERN Rivers’ largest business group has thrown its support behind Clubs NSW’s fight to keep new pokie technology out of clubs.

The Northern Rivers NSW Business Chamber, which has 600 members, says the club industry is a major employer on the Northern Rivers and the proposed changes to gaming legislation would cost jobs.

“The Northern Rivers region already has a high unemployment rate; we don’t need more families losing their main source of income. It’s as simple as that,” regional manager John Murray said.

“The club industry in the Northern Rivers has been around for a long time and has served their communities well. These planned changes...will undoubtedly cripple our local clubs and cause unnecessary hardships.”

The new pre-commitment technology, part of a federal government deal to secure the support of Independent Andrew Wilkie, would require pokie users to decide how much they are prepared to lose before they play. Mr Wilkie says the technology is designed to help problem gamblers and has threatened to withdraw his support if the deal does not go ahead.

The effectiveness of the technology has been questioned however, and local clubs say it will destroy them financially.

A recent meeting of the region’s clubs heard it would cost local clubs $73 million to install the technology, slash income by $74 million annually and lead to the loss of more than 800 jobs.



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