Gambling rooms and poker machines pose an unacceptable risk during COVID-19 and should be shut down immediately, says Cate Faehrmann Greens MP and gambling spokesperson.
“The spread of the Crossroads cluster to the Picton Hotel because of a case visiting the gambling room multiple times is a sign that we need to shut down the pokies,” said Ms Faehrmann.
“Pokies and gambling rooms are a COVID nightmare with people spending hours in a confined space together, often moving between different machines and increasing the risk of contamination to others.
“We know one of the signs of gambling harm can often be poor hygiene. This means those who are most vulnerable to the harms of pokies are also most likely to engage in behaviours that spread COVID-19.
“While other states have been slow to reopen their gaming rooms, NSW was quick to reopen gaming rooms for up to 18 hours a day. There is no social benefit to opening poker machines but indeed many harms.
“If the Government doesn’t close down poker machines and gambling rooms today, it’s clear that the interests of the powerful gamblig lobby matter more than the safety of the community,” Said Ms Faehrmann.