Nick Xenophon and SA-BEST are going to kill pubs and their tens of thousands of employees will lose their jobs with his Gambling Reform Policy.
Short Answer: None of SA-BEST's policies will result in killing pubs or tens of thousands of people losing their jobs.
Long Answer: The Australian Hotels Association (AHA), who are masquerading as “The Australian Hospitality Association” on its television ads, own pokies - machines designed specifically to be addictive and profiteer from this addiction - and are scared about their
SA-BEST's Gambling Reform Policy is designed specifically to reduce pokies addiction while putting processes in place so people don't lose their jobs.
On the AHA's anti-SA-BEST website, on the Disclaimer page, the association admits that it “does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy, currency or completeness of any information that may be located on this website”. In other words, none of its exaggerated claims are based on verifiable facts.
On that site’s main page the association’s so-called facts do not even attempt to substantiate any of its claims.
On that site’s research page there are four documents, including an anonymous report arguing against $1 Bets and Harm Minimisation.
Again, none of this research in any way establishes the association’s claims.
In addition to the association’s estimated multi-million dollar advertising fear campaign, it is also spending more than $100,000 to buy the support of rival parties.
When smoking was banned in pubs, the hotel lobby said it would cost thousands of jobs...
When tougher ID laws were introduced to stop youth alcohol violence, the hotel lobby said it would cost thousands of jobs...
Now the hotel lobby is saying that a reduction in pokies and $1 limits to protect problem gamblers will cost thousands of jobs...
That's not going to happen!
Don’t let the hotel lobby cry wolf. Don’t let them scare away your vote.
Here are the real facts:
Is there a problem?
The pokies industry likes to characterise the issue as hardworking Australians having a bit of a flutter. Let’s get real.
By world standards, Australia has a hell of a problem. We throw away $990 per adult per year on gambling. That’s higher than Singapore, which comes in second, and well over double the amount in other Western countries.
The 30% of South Australians who play the pokies lose an average of $2,314 each per year.
Australians spend more money on the pokies than any other type of gambling. Punters can lose up to $1,450 per hour, thanks to high intensity, addictive design of the machines.
Around 40% of those losses come from people experiencing severe gambling harm. And for every problem gambler, another 7 people are affected.
Gambling reform won’t cost anyone their job!
In 2004 there were almost 15,000 pokies in South Australian pups and clubs. In 2015 it was down to 12,210.
And yet employment in those same pubs and clubs has more than doubled: from 12,000 in 2009 to 26,250 in 2015.
Those are figures from the AHA themselves. So how can they claim that fewer pokies mean fewer jobs?
Moreover, several studies have found that when people spend less on the pokies, they spend more on other parts of the economy. Poker machine spending is displacement spending. Take it away and you’ll create jobs elsewhere.
Research by the SA Centre for Economic Studies shows that for every $1 million dollars lost on pokies only 3 jobs are created compared to 6 jobs per $1 million spent on retailing and over 12 jobs per $1 million spent on hospitality.
REGULATING POKIES WON’T SEE PEOPLE SWITCH TO OTHER FORMS OF GAMBLING
Pokies venues are very carefully designed to make sure you stay there as long as possible. They’re often windowless, so you lose track of time. Punters are served free drinks and snacks. It was recently revealed that Woolworths staff were rewarded for spying on high-turnover gamblers so that they could keep them there longer.
It’s a setup that sets you up to fail. The University of Sydney Gambling Treatment Clinic agrees that “The risks associated with playing EGMs (pokies) are higher than other gambling forms."
MAXIMUM BET REDUCTION IS AN EFFECTIVE HARM MINIMISATION MEASURE
A 2014 Victorian study into $1 bet limits found that “Overall, our conclusion is that there is a reasonable evidence base to suggest that a reduction in maximum bets is likely to be an effective harm minimisation measure."
The South Australian Council of Social Services supports our position, saying “SACOSS continues to see $1 bet limits as an important and effective harm reduction measure which should be implemented in South Australia."
FORMER SENIOR ALP MP REGRETS ALLOWING POKIES IN SA PUBS
Below is a video from former ALP Speaker of the House of Assembly and current Mayor of West Torrens, John Trainer, in which he expresses his personal regret for voting for the introduction of pokies with the Labor government in 1992.
It is an extraordinary statement of regret by one of the ALP's most respected figures. Yet both Labor and the Liberals are still happy to take donations from the AHA.
Poker machines began operating in SA in July, 1994. There are currently 12,210 machines in 510 pubs and clubs.
(Dec 2005) The SA Centre for Economic Studies - Community Impacts of Electronic Gaming Machine Gambling (Part A) FINAL REPORT
 (2010) The University of Sydney - Gambling Facts & Figures in Australia
(23 Jun 2010) Productivity Commission - Gambling (2010)
(8 Dec 2011) Inquiry - Interactive and online gambling and gambling advertising Interactive Gambling and Broadcasting Amendment (Online Transactions and Other Measures) Bill 2011
 (2014) Livingstone C. and Francis L. (2014) What is the evidence to support reduction of maximum bets on electronic gambling machines? Discussion of the current arrangements for community benefit statements by Victorian club gambling venues. Discussion of the likely effects of further local caps on EGM numbers on gambling harm and the prevalence of problem gambling. Report to Municipal Association of Victoria. Monash University/MAV p4
(24 Nov 2015) Interactive Gambling Amendment (Sports Betting Reform) Bill 2015 (Private Bill)
 (Jan 2016) The South Australian Centre for Economic Studies - Economic Contribution of the Hotel Industry in South Australia
(1 Sep 2016) Inquiry Interactive Gambling Amendment (Sports Betting Reform) Bill 2015
 (10 Mar 2018) The Economist - The world’s biggest gamblers
(20 Mar 2017) Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 *Skye Kakoschke-Moore and Nick suggested amendments
(21 Mar 2017) GOVERNMENT ON A LOSING STREAK BY FAILING TO SUPPORT ONLINE GAMBLING REFORM
 (27 Jun 2017) The Conversation - Three charts on: Australia’s addiction to poker machines
 (July 2017) University of Queensland - Removing poker machines from hotels and clubs in Tasmania: Economic considerations
 (2018) South Australian Council of Social Services (SACOSS) (2018) Gambling Harm Prevention Policies SA State Election 2018
(8 Feb 2018) InDaily - "Xenophon will do our industry great damage": Hotel cash pours into party coffers
(19 Feb 2018) SA-BEST GAMBLING REFORM POLICIES WILL DRAMATICALLY REDUCE POKIES ADDICTION AND COMMUNITY HARM
(21 Feb 2018) The Conversation - FactCheck: are ‘around 5,000 jobs’ at risk if pokies are removed from pubs and clubs in Tasmania?
 (27 Feb 2018) The Sydney Morning Herald - 'Do whatever you have to': Woolworths staff rewarded for spying on pokie players
(2 Mar 2018) SA-BEST WANTS TO BAN PRIVACY BREACHES BY POKIE PUBS
(11 Mar 2018) The Advertiser - South Australia man Anthony Neave pleads for pokies reform after wife loses her life (Link behind paywall)
(11 Mar 2018) Alliance for Gambling Reform - TIME FOR POKIES GIANT WOOLWORTHS TO QUIT AHA
(11 Mar 2018) WOOLWORTHS - AUSTRALIA'S LARGEST POKIES BARON- TRYING TO PULL THE WOOL OVER THE EYES OF SA VOTERS BY FUNDING MISLEADING ANTI-SA-BEST CAMPAIGN
(12 Mar 2018) FORMER SENIOR ALP MP REGRETS ALLOWING POKIES IN SA PUBS
(13 Mar 2018) The Conversation - FactCheck: would pokies reform in South Australia wipe out ‘many’ of 26,000 jobs?
(14 Mar 2018) InDaily - FactCheck: would pokies reform in SA wipe out 'many' of 26,000 jobs?
(15 Mar 2018) NO PORKIES: HOTEL LIES EXPOSED - ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER TAKES ACTION AGAINST POKIES HOTEL FOR MAKING FALSE AND MISLEADING CLAIMS AGAINST SA-BEST
(2018) Pokie Free Pubs Adelaide - A list of Adelaide pubs that operate without Pokies
(2018) SA-BEST's Gambling Reform Policy
(2018) SA-BEST's Live Music Policy
(2018) Nick's Achievements - Includes what Nick Xenophon has done on Predatory Gambling previously