Gaming legislation in Tasmania is under scrutiny following research that suggests citizens are convinced in the negative social effect of gambling. The Federal Group hotel chain, which is the monopoly operator of the state’s two casinos, has refuted the claim.
A parliamentary inquiry is looking into the economic and social impact gaming has on society. According to a Productivity Commission report, 83% of Tasmanians surveyed are against poker machines in the area.
In response to the offensive, Greg Farrell, managing director of The Federal Group, has stated that public opinion on gambling has been exaggerated, and topics such as health, education and safety rank much higher in society’s agenda.
If Federal’s exclusive monopoly on gambling is suspended, the company will incur serious monetary losses. According to Mr Farrell, his family business has provided $343 million towards the local economy during the past financial year.
The gaming regulatory body in Tasmania has put forward a proposal for state governments to lobby the federal executive for stricter online gambling laws.