Social services organisations are seeking a focus on harm minimisation as the government considers it gaming reform legislation.
Submissions to the gaming reform consultation period from Anglicare Tasmania, the Tasmanian Council of Social Services and Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania focused on implementing measures to reduce gambling harm in the community.
Including, but not limited to, reducing the number of electronic gambling machines in the state, reducing the maximum bet allowed and removing machines from pubs and clubs.
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The submissions are in direct contrast to those made by the Tasmanian Hospitality Association and pokies venues around Launceston - who want to level the playing field between pubs and clubs, increase the speed of machines and increase the number of lines people can play at once.
The governments gaming reforms also include ending Federal Group's monopoly on EGMs in Tasmania, allowing for venues to get individual licenses and an increase to tax profits.
Reduce the number of machines in Tasmania
On of the key focuses of Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania's submission was reducing the overall number of EGMs in Tasmania.
The submission urged the government to look at a myriad of harm mitigation measures and detailed the effect gambling has on the Tasmanian community.
"For every person with an addiction to poker machines, the lives of five to ten other people are affected," the NHT submission reads.
"2000 Tasmanians are seriously harmed with a further 6000 people at moderate risk and 15,000 adults at low risk from their gambling with most harm being caused by pokies. Accessibility is the biggest risk factor for developing an addiction to poker machines"
The NHT submission outlined concerns with the government's proposed cap decrease on the number of EGMs in Tasmania.
"The proposed decrease to the cap for EGMs is disingenuous; it is not an actual reduction in the number of EGMs but a reflection of the actual number of EGMs currently in Tasmania. Houses already feel the burden of EGMs," the submission reads.
Expand community interest tests
The TasCOSS also wanted to see harm minimisation be a focus of any proposed gaming reforms. The peak body for community services organisations wanted to see the community have a greater input on whether gaming machines were allowed in their area.
The organisations submission urged the government to expand community interest tests to all existing and future machine licenses.
"Tasmanians should also have the opportunity to participate in decisions about if and where poker machines are located in their communities. We therefore propose that the community interest test apply to all existing or continuing licences, as well as venues applying for a licence for the first time," the TasCOSS submission reads.
The TasCOSS submission also argued that the CIT process must be transparent - including the process of how, when and by whom decisions are made.
Change the Community Support Levy
Anglicare Tasmania agreed with the points raised in the TasCOSS and NHT submissions and also urged the government to commit to using 100 per cent of the money raised through the Community Support Levy for activities that support people not to gamble or to gamble less.
The CSL is a tax paid by the owners of gaming licences which is currently used to support gambling related activities and community sporting groups.
"Programs and activities seeking funding from the CSL should be required to incorporate suitable gambling harm prevention/reduction activities," the Anglicare submission reads.
"The current requirement for the small and community grants is for the grants to enhance the wellbeing of vulnerable groups and communities, but we propose that the prevention and reduction of gambling harm should be explicitly required."
Under the government's proposed reform the CSL will be extended to casinos but Anglicare would like to see them pay the same levy as hotels.
The social services organisation would also like to see the maximum bet on machines reduced from $5 to $1.
What venues want
Pokies venues around Launceston also had the opportunity to have their say on the government's proposed changes.
Six venues provided submissions and outlined a list of requests including - allowing ATMs in venues, increasing the number of EGMs allowed in pubs to make them equal with clubs and increasing the number of lines people can play at once to align with mainland standards.
The government will consider all submissions as part of the consultation phase before bringing the legislation to Parliament later this year.