Clubs NSW campaign against new rules

NEARLY 80,000 newsletters opposing new mandatory pre-commitment rules around gaming machines will be sent out across the Northern Rivers as part if Clubs NSW's ongoing campaign against the rules.

The Federal Government is preparing mandatory pre-commitment legislation which clubs say would amount to a "licence to punt" and would devastate the clubs industry.

Clubs NSW says it is sending 1.5 million newsletters across 31 marginal seats, including Page and Richmond, in its effort to force the government to abandon the legislation.

It says it will send out 78,190 newsletters across the Page and Richmond electorates. The newsletters would include contact details for Page MP Janelle Saffin and Richmond MP Justine Elliot.

Clubs say the legislation will hurt their industry without stopping problem gamblers, and have dubbed their campaign "Won't Work, Will Hurt".

Clubs Australia Executive Director Anthony Ball said the industry had lost patience with Labor MPs who privately reject mandatory pre-commitment but publicly support its introduction.

"This campaign is about calling on local MPs to be the voice of their community in Canberra, not Mr Wilkie's messenger in their community," he said.

"Every one of the 31 MPs is going to have to make a decision. They will either listen to clubs, problem gambling experts, counsellors and community and sporting groups, or they will listen to Andrew Wilkie.

"Mandatory pre-commitment will hurt communities. Social gamblers are making it very clear to clubs they will not be participating in any scheme that involves them registering on a government database.

"It will cost North Coast clubs and pubs more than $78 million to install, will put 679 local club jobs as well as those of suppliers at risk, and hurt sporting and community groups who rely on clubs for funding.

 "At the same time, mandatory pre-commitment simply won't work. Common sense says you don't help a problem gambler by giving them a card to continue their destructive gambling addiction.

"We've seen that mandatory pre-commitment has been a complete failure in Norway - the only country in the world to have implemented such a scheme." 

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