Ahead of the upcoming South Australia election, Nick Xenophon has promised to slash the number of poker machines across the state over the next five years.
The SA Best party leader said he’d keep the next government of South Australian “accountable”, pushing to drop the current numbers across licensed venues from 12,100 to 8,000, the ABC reports.
"The fact that the pokies barons and the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) are making huge donations to the major parties, and the Australian Conservatives, and unleashing a massive campaign against SA Best indicates they are worried at the prospect of real reform,” he said.
Among other plans, the party intends to push for removing EFTPOS facilities near pokies, outlaw the gambling industry from receiving political donations, alongside introducing a $1 cap on each spin.
However AHA chief executive Ian Horne has accused SA Best of not costing the plan, while warning of job losses under the proposed changes.
"To address the issue of problem gambling by ripping the guts out of an entire industry, giving up thousands of jobs and hurting so many South Australian-owned businesses is completely reckless and unwarranted," he said.
The South Australia election will be held on March 17.