10/9/09 – Tasmania's bold move into the online gambling regulatory sector is being opposed by the Green party following the Bartlett government’s decision to remove taxes for corporate bookmakers and instead apply a flat annual fee.

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Greens Gaming spokesperson Kim Booth MP said this week that talk of Tasmania becoming some form of gambling hub is ‘very disturbing' and is not the sort of reputation that will serve Tasmania well nationally or internationally.
 
“The Bartlett government’s decision to remove taxes for corporate bookmakers and instead apply a flat annual licence just again demonstrates Labor’s addiction to the gambling dollar, and the government’s abject failure to have a long term strategic plan that balances the community’s interests and the racing industry’s needs,” Booth said.
 
“Once again Labor rushes to lower the bar to grab the gambling dollar, without thinking of whether it harms the racing industry, which is providing the product, or considering the long term welfare of the community.”
 
Booth added: “Labor has not learnt from the Betfair debacle which the Greens had warned would result in that company using Tasmania as a beach-head to access the national market, and then threaten to pack up its physical office and leave if they cannot get the government to keep ramping down the product access fees.
 
“These corporate gambling interests will keep trying to ramp down their fees and obligations until they can get the product for nothing.
 
“A race to the bottom that results in Tasmania being perceived as the gaming island is not a socially responsible outcome.”
 
The Greens voted against the legalization to sell TOTE Tasmania.