Gambling on future
or paying bills. That’s why the government is committed to introducing reforms to reduce the impact of problem gambling in our communities.
This is no easy task but it is necessary if we are to provide the duty of care we owe thousands of individuals and families affected by problem gambling.
There is already a lot of debate in our community about the government’s reforms – THE Australian Government is committed to introducing reforms to reduce the impact of problem gambling in our communities.
I know many Australians like to gamble, whether it’s a flutter at the races, buying a lottery ticket, playing the pokies at a local pub or club or a night out at the casino.
I also understand the important role local clubs and pubs play in our communities, providing jobs, supporting our sporting groups and as a fun, welcoming place for people to get together.
But for some people gambling, and in particular playing the pokies, can get out of control with devastating consequences.
Gambling addicts suffer mental and physical health problems, find it difficult to hold down jobs, are often in debt to support their gambling and can barely maintain relationships.
One in six people who play the pokies regularly has a serious addiction.
Pokie addicts spend an average of $ 21,000 a year on gambling – that’s almost a third of the annual Australian salary and is money that is not being spent on the family mortgage particularly what’s known as pre-commitment. The idea behind pre-commitment is that we can use technology to help people set limits on how much they want to spend on the pokies and stick to them.
Under a pre-commitment system people who play the pokies will need a card – just like a club membership or loyalty card many regular pokies players already have. Despite some reports, this will not require people to be fingerprinted.
Under t he model r ecommended by the independent economic specialists, the Productivity Commission, players can set the limit as high or low as they like – based on what they can afford.
This is not about the government controlling people’s money – in fact it’s quite the opposite.
It’s about helping gamblers with a problem manage their own money.
We also understand the challenges faced by smaller venues, particularly those in rural communities.
That’s why we have made it clear we support special consideration for smaller venues on pre-commitment, consistent with the Productivity Commission’s recommendations.
I believe that working together we can create a safe and responsible gambling environment that continues to support a strong and vibrant club industry.
BETTER WAY: Reforms could help many social problems