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Perrottet denies ClubsNSW meddling allegations

Premier Dominic Perrottet couldn't say how much a supply chain commissioner would save shoppers.

Premier Dominic Perrottet couldn't say how much a supply chain commissioner would save shoppers. Photo: AAP

Dominic Perrottet has defended his track record on pokie reform, saying he never saw evidence of politicians being influenced by the powerful clubs’ lobby group, ClubsNSW.

Former gaming minister Victor Dominello says he lost his portfolio after supporting cashless gaming machines, which the lobby vehemently opposed.

Mr Dominello has told ABC’s Four Corners the group is as powerful as the gun lobby in the US and has called for an investigation into its influence on government.

“It was just, ‘No, we don’t want it. We will not have it. We will fight you to the death on it,” he told the ABC.

Mr Perrottet says he was not influenced by the industry when he handed the portfolio to the Nationals in a 2021 reshuffle.

“Politicians look after people – not vested interests,” Mr Perrottet told reporters on Monday.

“Clearly ClubsNSW disagrees with me in relation to pokie reforms, but I’m not here for ClubsNSW, I’m here to look after the people of our state.”

Last month Mr Perrottet committed to an extensive gaming reform package that includes a commitment to make every poker machine cashless by December 31, 2028.

Mr Dominello also told Four Corners he received a text message from former deputy premier and then Nationals leader John Barilaro rebuking him for not attending an awards dinner hosted by ClubsNSW.

The message reportedly referred to Mr Dominello as a “deadset dick”.

“What about just looking after your stakeholders. Like ClubsNSW,” the ABC reported.

“Do your f***en job.”

Both major parties plan on banning donations to political parties from clubs if they win the March 25 election.

Mr Perrottet said he would take advice on whether an inquiry was necessary.

“ClubsNSW and Australian Hotels Association, they have their views, and that’s good everyone should have their views,” Mr Perrottet said.

“But I’ll tell you who doesn’t have a lobby group and that’s the mums and dads across our state.

“They don’t have a Twitter account. They don’t have a lobby group looking after them. That’s our job as leaders.”

Opposition Leader Chris Minns wants to see Mr Dominello’s comments in context before commenting on his own experience dealing with clubs’ lobbyists.

“Two weeks to go, we’ve made clear that our comprehensive plan in relation to gambling is what we’re taking to the people of NSW and we do believe it’s comprehensive,” Mr Minns said.

Labor is proposing a 12-month trial of the cashless system on 500 machines which some have criticised as weak and likely to yield unreliable results.

The policy also includes banning clubs from donating to political parties, and taking a percentage of pokies out of circulation when there is a transfer of title.

ClubsNSW and Victor Dominello have been contacted for comment.

– AAP

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