Debate in the lower house on the government's proposed poker machine reforms appeared likely to head into the next sitting week with the Greens claiming the Liberals and Labor were offering "identical" harm minimisation policies.
The bill - to break up Federal Group's pokies license monopoly - reached the second reading with the support of Labor, which was seeking to move amendments to include facial recognition and card-based gaming in the legislation.
But the government remained committed to only including these measures as regulation - not legislation - subject to an assessment by the Liquor and Gaming Commission.
Labor finance spokesperson Dean Winter and leader Rebecca White both reflected on the party's 2018 election loss when they had promised to remove poker machines from pubs and clubs, and claimed they had devised a new policy since then.
Mr Winter said Labor had settled on facial recognition to identify people on the voluntary exclusion scheme in venues, and card-based gaming to move towards pre-commitment, based on similar methods in other states.
He said "the government might actually support them".
"Pokies barons - as some call them - didn't change Labor's policy, Tasmanians did," Mr Winter said.
"While we want to limit harmful use of poker machines, we understand the machines are part of local social life through local hotels, it's a fact.
"Some talk about particular measures like dollar bet limits, slower spin speeds ... as a silver bullet that will resolve all gambling in Tasmania, that's at least the way that I hear it, but it's not."
Pokies reforms 'consign Tasmanians to misery'
The Greens and Clark independent MHA Kristie Johnston spoke against the bill, arguing that the two major parties were too close to the gaming industry and were ignoring best-practice harm minimisation.
The provisions of the bill were seen to be too similar to a proposal made by Federal Group and the Tasmanian Hospitality Association to an inquiry into gaming policy in 2017.
Greens leader Cassy O'Connor said the harm minimisation measures suggested by Labor and to be assessed by the government were also those chosen by the gaming industry.
"The THA's made it clear to the Liberal and Labor parties they can only move for harm minimisation the industry supports," she said.
"Two parties, two identical so-called harm minimisation policies, which entirely coincidentally I'm sure are the same two policies the industry's made clear it's prepared to support."
Ms Johnston outlined the harm poker machines had caused in Hobart's north, providing the personal stories of families.
Both the Greens and Ms Johnston urged the government to bring in $1 bet limits and slower spin speeds, and to also remove a part of the bill that would allow for simulated horse racing in Tasmania.
Labor planned to move an amendment to increase machine payouts from 85 per cent to 90 per cent and to codify card-based play, that Ms White hoped would be mandatory, rather than voluntary.
Government and Labor at odds over how to bring in new measures
Labor announced its harm minimisation approach on Tuesday morning, and by Parliament a few hours later, the government also had a similar policy that it planned to put to the Liquor and Gaming Commission.
But both parties denied they had detailed their policies to each other beforehand.
The difference was that Labor wanted the harm minimisation in legislation, but the government wanted the commission to consider it first and then use regulation.
Finance Minister Michael Ferguson said it would be better to rely on the commission's advice, instead of legislating it first.
"Care is required here. We need to not do things that make us feel good, we need to do things that actually do good in the community," he said.
"We do not believe that is it necessary to mandate the specific requirements of technologies in the legislation, and in fact that would preempt the commission's analysis, it would ignore its expertise, and it would preempt the advice of the best approach for Tasmania."
Mr Ferguson said that he understood how the pokies were designed to make people addicted and that gambling wasn't for him.
The next sitting week starts on October 26, when the government hopes to have the legislation debated in the upper house.
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