The Independent Member for Denison will launch the Pokies are the Problem campaign to cement poker machines as a top issue in the upcoming Tasmanian election.

“The community knows pokies are the problem,” Mr Wilkie said. “We’ve seen this demonstrated in recent polls showing majority public support for getting poker machines out of Tasmania’s suburbs. Politicians can no longer pretend pokies do no harm.”

The Pokies are the Problem campaign will highlight the fact that poker machines cause or at least add to many social ills including crime, domestic violence, suicide and childhood poverty. It will be rolled out across traditional and social media ahead of the March poll and the public can show its support with Pokies are the Problem bumper stickers.

Mr Wilkie said the public no longer accepted the spin from the poker machine industry and major parties that poker machines did no harm.

“The fact is poker machines increase crime,” Mr Wilkie said. “The fact is poker machines increase domestic violence. The fact is poker machines increase suicide. The fact is poker machines increases childhood poverty.”

“The community really needs to pressure the Government and the alternative Government and candidates to take poker machines out of the suburbs, get them out of the pubs and clubs and ensure that effective harm minimisation measures are in place on the poker machines that remain in the casinos. The fact is pokies are the problem.”

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