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pokie reform « Previous | |Next »
June 13, 2011

Powerful vested interests including state governments, powerful corporations like Crown, Woolworths, Tattersall’s, and Tabcorp, and the mega clubs of New South Wales are are opposed to pokie reform, even though the proportion of money lost by problem and at-risk gamblers is 60 per cent of total poker machine losses of around $12 billion per year.

pokermachines.jpg uncredited, Sunday Herald Sun, News Ltd, 2010

The proposed reforms to reduce harm are modest: the Joint Select Committee’s report proposes low-impact pokies, accessible without a pre-commitment card, with maximum bets of $1, and maximum prizes of $500.

Secondly, it proposes retro-fitting pokies to accept a smartcard-based system with player information stored on the card to permit users to nominate their pre-set limits well away from the gaming room.

Woolworths, who own 75% of Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group, are basically defending their profits over the public good to reduce the significant harms caused to individuals, families and the wider community through problem gambling. Many of the larger venues increasingly resemble mini casinos and big businesses. They bear little resemblance to the smaller, mostly regional and rural, community venues and it is disingenuous to claim otherwise.

The Coalition would appear to be opposed to a mandatory pre-commitment system as an effective policy response. Their strategy is to delay the introduction of a mandatory pre-commitment system:

the Coalition members support a well-designed, voluntary pre-commitment scheme, which is supported by appropriate evidence, including trials, and where there has been appropriate consultation with industry. We also believe that given the substantial cost of a mandatory scheme, particularly for smaller venues, a full cost-benefit analysis should be undertaken.

At least the Coalition members of the Joint Committee did not not go on about the nanny state crushing individual freedom.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:29 AM | | Comments (5)
Comments

Comments

I would like to see a cigarette packet mentality with these things and have signs on the front. "Caution! This machine may cause you to lose you family" Caution! This machine's use may mean you have no food for a week"

Les,
it also means the breakup of families.

I wonder if there is false advertising issues relating to the word "win" on some methods of gambling.

That's not one of your photos is it Gary?
How can some thing so mundane can say so much?

Paul,
no its not one of mine---uncredited in Sunday Herald Sun. I've added the link. I wish that it were one of mine. I should go and take some. Simplicity and directness is best re photography.