Fact sheet

Fact Check: Will removing poker machines from Tasmanian pubs and clubs cost thousands of jobs?

Liberal Party of Australia Job loss Hospitality industry Electronic gambling machines Tasmania

Ahead of the 2018 Tasmanian election Labor wants to remove 2,375 poker machines from 97 Tasmanian pubs and clubs within the next five years, in light of what it says is the widespread harm that pokies inflict. Liberal Treasurer Peter Gutwein claimed the move would cost thousands of jobs, with the gaming industry estimating that around 5,000 jobs would be affected. But Mr Gutwein is wrong. Tasmania's gaming industry did not say thousands of jobs would be lost. The Treasurer relied on a gaming industry survey, which predicted 1,038 jobs would be lost. He also relied on the gaming industry's rough calculation that, in total, 5,100 jobs would be "affected" ' meaning jobs would be impacted through reduced hours, changed duties or lost altogether. A report commissioned by the Tasmanian Department of Treasury and Finance says reliable data on employment in the gambling industry are not collected by governments or industry. The report estimates that in 2017, 1,086 full-time equivalents (FTEs) were employed in the delivery of gambling services across Tasmania, including 371 FTEs in pubs and clubs. These numbers indicate gaming-related employment levels in pubs and clubs run in the hundreds of jobs rather than thousands. Other studies also indicate that employment in the gaming industry totals hundreds of jobs rather than thousands.
Verdict: Wrong

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