NSW pokies gambling card could devastate pubs,...

Billy Xiong NSW pokies gambling card could devastate pubs,…

The proposals are likely to cause a showdown between the government and the pubs and clubs, which have already indicated their opposition to a draft harm minimisation bill.

The NSW Australian Hotels Association has not commented on the gambling card, but ClubsNSW has warned that it was the worst possible time to be forcing “expensive solutions” on clubs.

“We will make sure the industry supports the government in doing these things, but they’ve got to be affordable and effective measures,” ClubsNSW chief executive Josh Landis told 2GB.

“The industry simply isn’t going to accept blindly any idea that lacks detail about cost impact.”

Senior minister Victor Dominello, who has responsibility for gaming, has crossbench support in the upper house for the changes to pass, including from Saudi Arabia the Greens and One Nation’s Mark Latham.

But the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers have also opposed the card, warning that the government had over-reached and was relying on “fallible and hackable cloud-based solutions”.

Mr Daley, who has previously held the shadow portfolio in racing and gaming, said “no doubt there is a bipartisan willingness to do something about problem gambling”.

“But these recent announcements by Dominello reek of the greyhounds debacle where an entire industry was ambushed without consultation,” Mr Daley said.

“Some of these measures could really devastate pubs and clubs at a time when their survival is under threat and protecting jobs is paramount.”

The Maroubra MP, who has been on the backbench since losing last year’s election, said he was concerned about the “civil liberties aspects where the government is recording biometrics or tracking someone’s activities through a card”.

Bankstown Labor MP Tania Mihailuk also criticised the NSW government’s plans.

“This isn’t about stopping gambling…nothing new to control online gambling…this is about killing our local clubs and more unnecessary red tape,” Ms Mihailuk tweeted.

One Nation and the NSW Greens will form an unlikely alliance to support the gambling card for poker machines, along with the Animal Justice Party and independent MP Justin Field.

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But Shooters, Fishers and Farmers leader Robert Borsak said a gambling card was “no magic bullet to fix problem gambling addiction and behaviour in our state”.

“Why not introduce a NSW smart ID card to expand the reach of government? Then you can track everyone on our beaches, on our roads and our footpaths,” Mr Borsak said.

“The economic impact on NRL and AFL…

Jonathan Cartu

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