Pubs and clubs across South Australia are urging the State Government to ease the poker machine shutdowns that have been in effect since venues first shut in March.
The calls come as pubs across the state reopen to a maximum capacity of 80 people, however, gaming rooms remain shut.
Under current plans, pubs and clubs will be allowed to welcome punter back into their pokie rooms as part of the third stage of reopening, although a date for this has not yet been set.
The Advertiser reports that the venue lockdowns have been costing the state’s pubs and clubs around $1 million every day.
In February, prior to SA’s lockdowns around $54 million was played through the state’s pokies.
But not everybody is as keen to see the return of the pokies, with gambling reform advocates arguing that now is the time to break Australians’ relationship with the machines.
The shutdowns have seen the ACT’s Chief Minister Andrew Barr offering community clubs in Canberra $15,000 to hand back their poker machine licenses.
The Alliance for Gambling Reform is pushing for other state and territory governments across the country to introduce similar measures.
New South Wales yesterday became the first state in the country to allow some gaming venues to reopen.
Over 12,000 gaming machines operate across South Australia.