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Victorian Greens propose phasing out of pokie machines in 10 years

The Victorian Greens want to see pokie machines phased out from Victoria in the next decade.

Victorian Greens Leader Samantha Ratnam described it as a “predatory industry” and told Neil Mitchell the evidence was clear about the impact of gambling and the social harm it causes.

“What the research evidence is saying, is that the pokies are the instigator of  so much damage in families lives,” she said.

But Neil questioned the detail in the policy announcement.

Neil: Can you tell me how many people the pokie machine industry employs?

Ms Ratnam: I’m sure it’s in the tune of hundreds. I don’t have an exact figure.

Neil: Have you got a rough figure? It would certainly be more than hundreds.

Ms Ratnam: I think it’s hundreds.

Neil: If you are going to put up this proposition, you need to put up some facts. I’m not arguing you are wrong, but you have to go through all those figures. You can’t just float it. You need to be able to tell me how many people are employed by the poker machine industry, and if they lose their jobs, what happens.

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Earlier in the program, the president of Community Clubs Victoria Leon Wiegard said Victoria would see a return to underground gambling if pokie machines were phased out.

“We have the most regulated gambling industry in the world,” he said.

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