Anti-gambling crusader Tim Costello said the $27.3 billion figures was the price tag of social destruction and he urged the Brumby government to act.Of course, there have been no other poker machine losses of any size in any other state, and the Howard government has been a magnificent and vocal critic of the gaming industry over the past decade.
"It's been state-sponsored robbery of those who have no free choice because they are addicted," Reverend Costello said.
"The state has known that all along and has been complicit in the destruction of marriages, savings and even lives.
"The truth is, a Labor government must hang its head in deep shame and never argue to be a party of social justice. They have been a party of social injustice."
UPDATE: Tim Costello:
"The notion of a separation of church and state was designed to protect the church from government, not the reverse."