Is the Government Looking for A Pokies ‘Escape Hatch’?
Andrew Wilkie has not given up on his fight for mandatory pre-commitment, and he is working harder than ever to ensure that the poker machine reform trial is done right. He believes that the government wants to purposefully botch the trial so that they do not have to implement pokie reform, leaving what he calls an ‘escape hatch’ for the industry – but he won’t let that happen.
Wilkie stands firm on his position that certain features need to be included in order to ensure its success. The main point of contention is that the new bill has not made it clear that pre-commitment is mandatory, a feature that will compromise the success of the trial when it comes to testing how effective poker reform truly is.
Jenny Macklin, Families Minister, has stressed that the bill already makes this fact explicit. However, Wilkie is not convinced. They have been in talks over the course of the past weeks to iron out the issue but they seem to have reached an impasse.
The government seems to be giving in slowly, however. Wilkie’s demand to include the conditions of the trial into an amendment has been met, and he will continue to hold out until his other requests have been addressed.