After 44 hours of debate that only lead to an inevitable pre-determined outcome from the major parties, independent upper house MLCs have a sense of pride with their work, but were ultimately disappointment at the new 20-year pokies deal.
The bill passed the lower house as a formality on Thursday - one of the government's last actions of 2021 - having been amended eight times in the upper house during a lengthy debate.
The main amendment was stopping the individual 20-year pokies licences from resetting if acquired or transferred, and for all of them to expire in 2043 when a future Parliament must again consider the future of the machines in Tasmania.
Nelson independent MLC Meg Webb said that without that change, it would have been difficult for future governments to phase out pokies.
"It's cold comfort for those Tasmanians and their families who will suffer the effects of addiction over the next 20 years, but I'm pleased that at a minimum we have provided an opportunity for the future," she said.
"It's a significant change we were able to achieve in the upper house, but I'm sad that there weren't others."
Ms Webb joined the upper house in May 2019 after years of work in pokies harm reduction, and said the recent debate was alarming.
"It's the first time I've experienced having reasonable questions being blocked in such a way," she said.
Independents voiced their frustration throughout the debate at a perception that the government was not adequately answering questions, particularly over a significant tax cut for Federal Group's casino pokies and a lack of harm minimisation enshrined in the bill.
Hobart independent MLC Rob Valentine said it was ultimately a disappointing bill for Tasmanians.
"While some important amendments were made to pokies legislation, like pinning licences to the same expiry date, we have simply failed our vulnerable in the harm minimisation stakes," he said.
Federal Group says bill was thoroughly scrutinised
The bill ended Federal Group's monopoly hold on poker machines in Tasmania and instead introduces an individual licencing model for venues.
Federal Group executive general manager Daniel Hanna said it "provides certainty" for the coming 20 years.
"It has been a long and detailed process, and the legislation has been exhaustively debated both publicly and in the parliament," he said.
"We welcome the thorough scrutiny that has come with the passing of this legislation."
Dr Hanna said the company's "overall returns" would be "significantly reduced" under the new model.
Finance Minister Michael Ferguson said the outcome provided further tax revenue for Tasmania, and the Gaming Commission will investigate the implementation of card-based pre-commitment.
The bill was able to pass both houses of Parliament with the support of Labor.
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