ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

Publicans in the south are worried proposed changes to the way they harvest pensions and wages from addicts will cripple their businesses.

The NSW Government has earmarked changes to the poker machine industry where players will need a special gambling card to play the pokies.

They will become entirely cashless.

It’s a policy that’s got many publicans nervous.

One hotel owner in Milparinka spoke candidly to The Advocate this afternoon about his fears for the future – if this legislation passes their inefficient two-chamber parliament.

“It’s going to be really tough. It feels like the government is kicking us while we’re down,” said Miles Hanratty of the Paroo Grand in Milparkina.

“We rely heavily on poker machine revenue to keep the lights on and to pay our staff. Without that income, we’d be forced to provide a decent level of service and meals worth paying top dollar for,”

“To be honest with you, I’d have to make my pub a nice place to be in order to stay afloat. Right now, it’s pretty much a set and forget. Anything more would mean I’d actually have to put in some effort. Which is not why I got into hospitality.”

Mr Hanratty isn’t alone in his anxiety. He says hundreds of public in the New South Wales Western Division are set to be sweating on the legislation.

“Not all of us can be Justin Hemmes,” said Miles.

“Some of us have to be Rooty Hill RSL.”

More to come.


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