Uniting Communities is strongly supporting the call made jointly today, (Bastille Day) by Andrew Wilkie, Nick Xenophon and Rev Tim Costello for the new Australian Parliament to commit to practical and sensible gambling reform.

They are committing to work for:

  • “A ban on sports betting advertising during G-rated time periods. Both MPs will move resolutions in both houses of parliament in the first sitting week of the new government
  • A Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform with terms of reference that include poker machine and online gambling and
  • Introduction of legislation for a maximum $1 bet and maximum loss of $120 per hour, as recommended by the Productivity Commission in 2010”

“Uniting Communities supports these actions as the top 3 priorities to rein in gambling harm in Australia,” said Mark Henley. “The previous parliament was making good progress with regard to on-line gambling, through Minister Tudge, with whom we look forward to working further, in implementing recommendations from the O’Farrell report concerning illegal online gambling.”

Regarding the proposed introduction of legislation for a maximum one dollar bet per spin on poker machines, it is worth noting that a recent report produced for the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, and released since the Productivity Commission’s initial report, found that:

“low and moderate-risk gamblers account for a majority of the aggregate years of health life lost due to harmful gambling,” using a standard public health methodology endorsed by the World Health Organisation to measure the impact of gambling on quality of life.

The reality that at least half of the harm coming from gambling occurs to people regarded as “low risk” gamblers, highlights the importance of the maximum one dollar per spin bet limit.

The third proposal from Wilkie, Xenophon and Costello for a joint select committee on gambling reform is also strongly supported by Uniting Communities.

 

For Information or Comment

Mark Henley

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