Gam­bling nation

Townsville Bulletin - - Voice Of The North -

RE: Gam­bling on fu­ture ( TB, March 15) opin­ion by Jenny Mack­lin MP, Min­is­ter for Hous­ing. Fam­i­lies, Com­mu­nity Ser­vices and In­dige­nous Af­fairs.

This letter goes to the heart of the gam­bling probl em high­lighted in the agree­ment signed on Septem­ber 2, 2010 by Andrew Wilkie MP, Mem­ber for Deni­son ( Tas­ma­nia) with Prime Min­is­ter Ju­lia Gil­lard. It should not be for­got­ten that the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment holds on to power with the sup­port of Andrew Wilkie.

Page 7 Sec­tion/ 7.8 of the agree­ment states: ‘ The gov­ern­ment agrees t hat i t would rely on the pro­duc­tiv­ity com­mis­sions fu­ture ad­vice in de­ter­min­ing fu­ture ac­tion on prob­lem gam­bling’.

To my knowl­edge there is no com­mit­ment to on­line gam­bling. NRL games, AFL, soc­cer, cricket, bas­ket­ball, horse rac­ing – the list goes on be­cause Aus­tralians like to gam­ble. A far greater dan­ger lies, to quote Jenny Mack­lin’s words are pokie ad­dicts. To sin­gle out a small sec­tion of the gam­bling in­dus­try for gov­ern­ment con­trol only shifts the gam­bling ad­dict to other forms of gam­bling, with less con­trols to pro­tect.

The pro­duc­tiv­ity com­mis­sion’s re­port on prob­lem gam­bling is too nar­row, and sin­gles out sport­ing clubs in North Queens­land. And to im­pose spe­cial con­sid­er­a­tion for smaller venues.

Clubs like North Queens­land Cow­boys Leagues Club will be at a dis­ad­van­tage, as will golf clubs, the RSL, bowls clubs and any venue with poker ma­chines. The Cow­boys Leagues Club has re­turned more than $ 2 mil­lion back to the North Queens­land com­mu­nity and to lose pokie rev­enues will see many jobs lost.

As it stands the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment, which draws rev­enue from these clubs, will be over­ruled by fed­eral leg­is­la­tion on gam­bling, forced on it by one in­de­pen­dent MP from Tas­ma­nia. NORM H. CAN­TON,


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