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New gambling law changes ‘appalling’

LEAVE THEM: John Granger likes the current drinking and gambling laws.
LEAVE THEM: John Granger likes the current drinking and gambling laws. John Mccutcheon

SUGGESTIONS of more lenient liquor and gambling laws on some of Australia's most sacred days have been described as "appalling".

The scrapping of pub and gambling restrictions on Good Friday, Christmas Day and Anzac Day is being considered as part of a huge overhaul of Queensland's liquor licensing laws.

Removing trading hour restrictions on days of "cultural significance" and allowing gamblers to bet more for longer on poker machines are among options the Newman Government is considering in a 107-page discussion paper released on Friday.

But Alex Surf Club general manager Ashley Robinson said the changes made no sense and would be a hypocritical move by the state government if they were ever implemented.

"In regard to Good Friday and Christmas Day, I think that's the most appalling thing I've ever heard," he said.

"It's two days of the year that we have to restrain from something.

"That's just ordinary."

Mr Robinson said more clarification was needed on gambling and liquor restrictions on Anzac Day.

"If you want a beer, you can't come in until 1pm (on Anzac Day), and races in some states start before 12pm," he said.

"Which means you can't let people in to gamble until 1pm.

"It gets confusing and people get very irate about it."

According to the discussion paper, current restrictions affect the industry's ability to service the needs of tourists and residents.

It says removing restrictions on Good Friday and Christmas Day will help cater to visitors, as "not all traditional western cultural or religious days are observed by a significant proportion of the population".

Duporth Tavern duty manager Maria Lindsay said the current restrictions should remain, for the benefit of not only patrons but also staff at pubs and clubs.

"At least those days should be kept for family, and I'm sure having one day off gambling or drinking isn't going to hurt everybody," she said.

"Staff-wise too, it would be a bit of a shame not to have those days with your family."

Queenslanders have until March 15 to have a say on the discussion paper, which can be viewed by visiting olgr.qld.gov.au.

CHANGES BEING CONSIDERED

  • Earlier opening hours for bottleshops
  • Bigger bets on pokie machines
  • Review of the 3am lockout

Topics:  gambling



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