Call for National Gambling Regulation
25 August 2010 at 10:37 am
The Commonwealth needs to take over gambling regulation in Australia according to a new policy paper by the Alfred Deakin Research Institute.
Called Risky business: Why the Commonwealth needs to take over gambling regulation the policy paper is authored by Linda Hancock from the Institute and Michael O’Neil from the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies, at the Adelaide and Flinders Universities.
|Flickr photo by jesmweb via Creative Commons|
The paper argues that the Commonwealth needs to lead on an integrated National Action Plan on Gambling, that is squarely based on a risk and prevention strategy with new policies, institutions and financial incentives to the States and Territories.
Essentially, it says the Commonwealth government needs to lead on gambling re-regulation.
The proposed National Action Plan for Gambling Governance and Re-Regulation outlined in the report is a whole-of-system public health approach that incorporates as crucial elements: national consumer protection product safety/regulation; national ‘license to operate’ venue responsibilities; industry obligations (host responsibility and duty of care); national regulatory oversight (data monitoring); independent research (integrity); evidence based policy; and national independent audit/monitoring of policy and venue-level interventions.
It says a reform agenda to wean the states off their reliance on gambling taxes needs to offer incentives. To fund these new initiatives the policy paper proposes (i) a revenue-neutral reform agenda funded from a new 2 percent ‘super-profits tax’ on then gambling industry and (ii) establishment of a new National Lottery Commission.
In its final report, The Productivity Commission Report into Gambling recognised that properly regulated, lotteries are the least harmful form of gambling.
In the short term, the paper says this fund would then be used to give incentives to the States/Territories (via the Commonwealth Grants Commission) to wind back their dependence on gambling taxes. In the longer term, a National Lottery Fund could finance heritage, parks, and other sustainability and community building initiatives.
The authors say the paper has been written to inform public debate on a new direction for a national approach to gambling policy and calls on the Commonwealth to take over gambling regulation.
The Alfred Deakin Research Institute (ADRI) is a specialised research unit that was established at Deakin University in 2009 to generate research that informs public debate and enables government ministers, departments and policy-makers to take action based on evidence.
The Policy Paper can be downloaded below.