Anglicare Tasmania is targeting independent Legislative Council members in a campaign calling for the rejection of the government's planned individual venue licence model for poker machines, and to instead ban them from pubs and clubs.
The government plans to introduce the legislation in the autumn session next year, which would break up the poker machine monopoly held by Federal Group from 2023 and introduce a new model until 2043, capped at 2350 machines.
The way in which pokies licences are distributed - and whether it involves a tender process - is yet to be announced.
Anglicare Tasmania policy analyst Margie Law said it would be up to Labor and independent Legislative Council members to determine the fate of the legislation.
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She said the 2018 Tasmanian Election did not give the government a mandate for its pokies policy, despite Labor losing with a policy of removing pokies from pubs and clubs.
"The opportunity isn't lost," Ms Law said.
"The election wasn't won on whether or not pokies should be in hotels and clubs; people have a lot of issues that they decide to vote on.
"If poker machines stay in hotels and clubs, the legislation needs to make sure that regulations can protect customers. For a small pub with 30 poker machines, are they going to be able to do the same level of customer protection as a large pub?
"Our first position is that we don't want them in hotels or clubs."
Anglicare instead wants pokies to be solely based in Tasmania's two casinos as they are "destination" gambling venues. The organisation set up a template email to be sent to Legislative Council members.
A 2017 Tasmanian Government survey found 2000 people in Tasmania were seriously harmed by gambling, and a further 19,000 had low to moderate levels of harm, with the majority from poker machines.
In February, Labor announced it had abandoned its pre-election policy of removing pokies from pubs and clubs, but a party spokesperson said the party would wait to see the legislation.
"We have very clearly said that our objective is to minimise the harm caused by poker machines in the community," he said.
Since the election, former Anglicare anti-pokies campaigner Meg Webb has joined the Legislative Council as an independent, and the legislation would require a combination of independent members and possibly Labor to pass.
Treasurer Peter Gutwein said the government's policy remained the same, and the election provided a mandate.
"The rights to operate EGMs in pubs and clubs post 2023 will be licenced on an individual venue model which ensures that both venues and the government representing the community capture a greater share of the returns from EGMs," he said.
"This will facilitate greater investment in pubs and clubs, lifting economic activity and employment and also enable the Government to increase harm minimisation and investment in essential services.
"Importantly, we will reduce the number of machines by 150 overall and double the Community Support Levy fund to improve harm minimisation."