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Former Labor MP hits out at AHA

"Marlon" (2018-07-02)

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A former Labor MP has hit out at the Australian Hotels Association for spending an "obscene" amount of money trying to turn South Australian voters off Nick Xenophon.

sakongJohn Trainer was in parliament when the Labor government in 1992 approved the entry of poker machines into SA pubs.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's state election, he now says that decision was foolish and the government should have kept pokies restricted to community clubs.

"I've seen the poverty they've caused. The misery they've caused," he said in a video released by Mr Xenophon on Monday.

Mr Trainer said the AHA was spending an "obscene" amount of money in the election campaign to protect its position.

"However you vote on March 17, don't be influenced by the Australian Hotels Association. Don't listen to them as we foolishly did," he said.

Mr Xenophon said he did not approach Mr Trainer for his comments, with the now local mayor contacting the party to make his feelings known.

It follows the SA-BEST leader on Sunday hitting out at the AHA television advertising which warns a vote for Mr Xenophon or one of his candidates would put thousands of jobs in the hotel sector at risk.

The AHA is concerned at SA-BEST's policy of cutting the number of poker machines in SA by half over the next five years and also introducing other measures to combat problems gambling including $1 maximum bets.

Mr Xenophon said the AHA claims were wrong and latest research showed aduq poker machines actually cost jobs.

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