» Xenophon Says Possibility of Pokies Reform Renewed
Xenophon Says Possibility of Pokies Reform Renewed
Thursday 26 April, 2012 15:16
Senator Nick Xenophon has said that Australian pokies reform looks like it
may be on the cards again now that 'political karma' is visiting Prime Minister
Prime Minister Gillard reneged on her deal with key independent Federal MP
Andrew Wilkie over a pokies reform deal, and now it appears that Mr. Wilkie may
regain some of his political weight in light of the scandal surrounding Speaker,
Mr. Wilkie is being advised on 'uncertain and changing circumstances' within
Federal Parliament, with particular focus on how it may impact his poker machine
reforms. Mr. Slipper was accused of criminal misuse of taxpayer-funded CabCharge
dockets and he has stepped down from his position as Speaker while the
allegations are investigated.
Anti-gambling Senator, Nick Xenophon has said that this is an example of
'political karma' for how the government mistreated Mr. Wilkie in January.
"Andrew Wilkie can expect to be feeling a lot of love from the government in
coming days," commented Senator Xenophon. "I don't think it has anything to do
with Andrew's charming personality."
Senator Xenophon expressed the opinion that Clubs Australia celebrated
victory too early and that anything could still happen regarding pokies reform.
He claims that the issue of problem gambling will not resolve itself and will
not go away while poker machines are still ruining the lives of hundreds of
thousands of Australians.
MP Wilkie Looking to Restore Original Reform Deal
Over the last few weeks, Community Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin, has been
in negotiations with Mr. Wilkie to try to convince him to support the diluted
reforms. Following the changing situation, Mr. Wilkie wrote, "I am now
considering Minister Macklin's response and taking advice in light of the
uncertainty and changing circumstances in the parliament."
Mr. Wilkie wants the government to commit itself to preparing all machines so
that they will be ready for future governments to simply 'flick the switch' to
roll out the mandatory pre-commitment technology. Mr. Wilkie had warned the
government that he expected them to amend the laws to satisfy his demands and if
they didn't, he would be a 'ticking time bomb.'
Anti-gambling campaigners are now hopeful that Mr. Wilkie will be able to
restore the original pokies reform deal and possibly even improve on it by
securing $1 maximum bet limits.
Clubs Australia has claimed that their complaint against the deal was the
plan to introduce mandatory pre-commitment technology with a trial.