Western Suburbs Leagues Club manager Geoff McIntosh is opposed to the government’s proposed pokies pre-commitment cards.
Western Suburbs Leagues Club manager Geoff McIntosh is opposed to the government’s proposed pokies pre-commitment cards. Mike Knott

Bundy's $30.6m pokies gamble

BUNDABERG gamblers have spent almost $2 million more on the pokies in 2011 compared to last year, as federal politicians continue to battle over pre-commitment cards.

Punters fed $30.6 million into Bundaberg machines between January and August this year - a $1.7 million jump on the same period last year.

Under the proposed laws, high-spending gamblers will be forced to enter a dollar value they are willing to spend that day before they can start.

The proposal has split Bundaberg venues.

Western Suburbs Leagues Club manager Geoff McIntosh said pokies had become a fixture of pubs and clubs in Queensland.

"They are not a thing that we rely on wholly and solely, but they are a necessary to

most clubs these days," he said.

The club is home to 45 pokies and Mr McIntosh said they were probably under-used.

But he did not support the proposed laws being pushed by Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie.

"I don't accept the mandatory side," he said.

"There is no limit to how much they can say as their pre-commitment."

On the flip side, the Bundaberg RSL Club already has a system that asks customers to set a pre-commitment limit based on time and dollar value, which has been in place since 2009.

"The spend limits are reasonable so people cannot put in a high amount," Bundaberg RSL Club manager Col Rankin said.

But he said the club would resist any moves to abolish the machines altogether.

"Gaming has become a part of the social culture since the introduction," Mr Rankin said.



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