Hospitality giant Federal Group will launch a new pro-poker machines campaign at Country Club Tasmania on Friday, ramping up their fight against Labor’s policy to remove pokies from pubs and clubs by 2023.
The campaign, fronted by 11 Federal Group employees, will be rolled out via TV, radio, print and social media in the lead-up to the state election.
Federal Group said the campaign was initiated by staff themselves in the wake of Labor’s policy reveal.
The hospitality industry has said up to 5000 jobs could be lost as a result of the policy, a figure which has attracted intense scrutiny from the Opposition and anti-pokies groups.
The Social and Economic Impact Study of Gambling in Tasmania, released on Tuesday, showed that 317 full-time equivalent workers were employed in Tasmanian pubs and clubs with pokies.
But Country Club Tasmania marketing coordinator Julie Kilinc said it was not just FTEs’ jobs that would be at risk under Labor, but those of casual and part-time workers, as well as suppliers.
Ms Kilinc said that the first thing she thought of when Labor revealed its policy was her late Labor-voting father.
“My father would have turned over in his grave,” Ms Kilinc said.
“My sons have only just started going out into the workforce and I said, ‘Labor will do the right thing by the workers’.
“I was just devastated because I could see clearly that this would cost jobs.”
Ms Kilinc also voiced concerns about the state Liberals’ gaming policy, which would seek to grant pokies licences to individual venues, effectively ending Federal Group’s monopoly on the industry.