Victoria pokies industry to campaign against government

    Victoria’s poker machine lobby plans to target 35 marginal seats in the November state election in retaliation for the government’s decision to raise taxes on the industry.
    The government announced plans for tax hikes in December aimed at boosting government revenue by $280 million by the end of 2016-17.
    The industry claims the tax changes will take $20 million from clubs this year and $75 million over the next four years and may potentially cost jobs.
    The campaign is being called “Our Pain, Napthine Gain,” in reference to Victoria state Premier David Napthine. It will feature a website and sticker campaign in the targeted electorates.
    However, the government said it won’t back down to the industry’s demands, saying that the tax hikes had corrected a problem made by a previous government when it set tax rates too low.
    “We recognise that the electronic gaming industry has a legitimate place in our community but we won’t be beholden to the poker machine lobby,” he told reporters on Wednesday.