No loss of revenue and overwhelming support to phase out pokies – so why would Tasmania keep them?

Modelling by The Australia Institute has found any impact to the state budget from phasing out poker machines in pubs and clubs could be negated through increasing taxes on poker machines in casinos. 

New polling released today shows strong support for phasing out poker machines in pubs and clubs in Tasmania, even among Liberal voters.

“Overall, Tasmania is one of the lowest poker machine taxing jurisdictions in the country. If the government raised its tax rate on poker machines in casinos, it could easily make up for the potential lost revenue from phasing them out in pubs and clubs.” Said Leanne Minshull, Director, The Australian Institute Tasmania, co-author of the report. 

“Casinos have traditionally enjoyed lower tax rates on poker machines in all states, but there is no reason for the Tasmanian government to stick to this policy when the current poker machine deal expires. If the Government chose to do so, the tax rate could be increased and the casino would still remain profitable.” 

Further modelling showed that increasing the tax rate on Keno, could even result in a revenue increase for the State. 

Keno gaming is also lightly taxed in Tasmania, at just 5.88% of annual gross profit. $33.5 million of keno gaming player expenditure raises just $2.1 million.  

Increasing keno gaming taxes to 25.88% (the current poker machine rate) would raise an additional $6.6 million per annum. Increasing keno gaming taxes to 40% would raise an additional $11.4 million.  

Poker Machine phase out popular

Polling undertaken by ReachTEL, in the Premier’s own seat also found overwhelming support for the phase out of Poker Machines. Over 80% of voters in Franklin, including 71% of Liberal voters want pokies reduced or eliminated. See polling below:

Question: The State government is currently deciding on the future of poker machines. Do you think the number of poker machines should be?

 

Total

Female

Male

18-34

35-50

51-65

65+

Increased

2.5%

1.0%

4.2%

10.7%

1.8%

3.8%

1.3%

Stay the same

13.4%

12.9%

13.9%

7.1%

11.5%

14.4%

13.8%

Decreased

41.0%

42.3%

39.6%

50.0%

39.8%

33.5%

44.9%

Phased out altogether

40.5%

42.0%

38.7%

28.6%

44.2%

46.4%

37.0%

Don’t know/Not sure

2.6%

1.8%

3.6%

3.6%

2.7%

1.9%

2.9%

 .

Total

Liberal

Labor

Greens

One Nation

Other

Undecided

Increased

2.5%

2.7%

3.7%

 0.0%

4.2%

 0.0%

1.9%

Stay the same

13.4%

17.8%

11.9%

1.9%

29.2%

7.4%

13.5%

Decreased

41.0%

45.5%

40.8%

28.7%

37.5%

33.3%

48.1%

Phased out altogether

40.5%

31.6%

39.9%

69.4%

20.8%

55.6%

34.6%

Don’t know/Not sure

2.6%

2.4%

3.7%

 0.0%

8.3%

3.7%

1.9%

ReachTel polled 726 voters in the seat of Franklin on the night of September 4th 2017.

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