Perrottet rejects clubs lobby influenced cabinet rejig
Dominic Perrottet has defended his track record on pokie reform, saying powerful lobby group ClubsNSW did not influence his decision to shuffle the gaming portfolio.
Former gaming minister Victor Dominello has claimed he lost his portfolio after supporting cashless gaming machines, which ClubsNSW vehemently opposed.
Mr Dominello has told ABC's Four Corners the group is as powerful as the gun lobby in the US and called for an investigation into its influence on government.
"It was just, 'No, we don't want it (cashless gaming). We will not have it. We will fight you to the death on it,'" he told the ABC.
Mr Perrottet said he was not influenced by the industry when he handed the portfolio to the Nationals in a 2021 reshuffle.
"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," Mr Perrottet told reporters on Monday.
Last month Mr Perrottet committed to an extensive gaming reform package, including a commitment to make every poker machine cashless by December 31, 2028.
Mr Dominello said 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", according to the ABC.
"What about just looking after your stakeholders. Like ClubsNSW," the text message continued.
"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 the 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 lobby group looking after them. That's our job as leaders."
Opposition Leader Chris Minns said he wanted 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 has proposed a 12-month trial of the cashless system on 500 machines, which has been 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.
Mandatory cashless gaming had the support of the crossbench, the Greens, and the government, and was on track to be implemented in the next term of parliament without Labor's support, Independent MP Alex Greenwich told AAP on Monday.
The only political group left to support the reform was NSW Labor, Mr Greenwich said.
ClubsNSW and Mr Dominello have been contacted for comment.