Swan considers levy on poker machines

Treasurer Wayne Swan has flagged a levy on poker machines to cover the cost of the federal government's problem gambling reforms.

Clubs Australia is concerned the government has given itself powers to tax clubs and hotels to cover the cost of regulating voluntary pre-commitment technology.

Under legislation, introduced to parliament last week, the Commonwealth will be able to impose a supervisory levy on each poker machine.

Mr Swan said the levy proposal was discussed with the industry.

"It is not a revenue-raising exercise," he told Sky News in Washington on Wednesday.

"It is entirely normal in those circumstances that those costs are covered."

Clubs Australia executive director Anthony Ball says the tax will add to the cost of installing pre-commitment technology on every poker machine.

"This power to tax is effectively an admission that a federal bureaucracy is going to be needed to run the voluntary pre-commitment technology," he said in a statement.

Mr Swan dismissed the notion it was a tax as "completely unfair and wrong".

The draft laws require most pokies to be compatible with a pre-commitment system and display electronic warnings about the dangers of gambling by the end of 2016.

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