Tasmanian RSL clubs pull plug on pokies

Pots, parmigianas and pokies are often associated with RSL clubs but there will no longer be any poker machines left in Tasmanian venues from the middle of the year.

The final 20 machines in the Devonport sub-branch will be removed by July over concerns for the wellbeing of veterans and their families.

RSL Tasmania chief executive John Hardy said the organisation had "no other choice" but to get rid of the machines after examining its purpose and values.

He pointed to research from Melbourne University showing veterans who left the services for medical reasons and vulnerable community members were at risk of getting hooked on the machines.

"RSL Tasmania is about making Tasmania a place where veterans and their families can thrive. If we're not about that, then why is there an RSL?" Mr Hardy told AAP.

"If it's not about commemoration, if it's not about veterans, if it's not about recognition of service and if it's not about families of veterans, then it's a bar.

"It's a sports bar, or it's a pokie den. That's not an RSL."

He said no sub-branches had shut because of the ban but instead attributed it to dwindling membership numbers.

"Maybe we weren't quick enough on becoming relevant and we have to revitalise our relevance," he said.

The decision only applies to the 49 sub-branches associated with RSL Tasmania, not other clubs which may have RSL in their name but have no connection to the organisation.

Mr Hardy said the decision was not political or prompted by new cashless gaming card laws in Tasmania which cap losses at $100 a day or $5000 a year.

Gaming regulation is shaping as a major election issue in NSW, after Premier Dominic Perrottet pledged to implement cashless gaming cards while the Labor Opposition has committed to a 12-month trial if elected.

Cashless gaming cards operate in Victoria, South Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and ACT. Poker machines are banned in Western Australia except for in the one casino in Perth.