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Uniting Care Australia Calls for Safer Gambling Practices


Thursday, 2nd December 2010 at 10:56 am
Staff Reporter
UnitingCare Australia is supporting Federal Government attempts at an early roll-out of a full pre-commitment system to reduce the harm caused by problem gambling.

Thursday, 2nd December 2010
at 10:56 am
Staff Reporter


1 Comments


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Uniting Care Australia Calls for Safer Gambling Practices
Thursday, 2nd December 2010 at 10:56 am

UnitingCare Australia is supporting Federal Government attempts at an early roll-out of a full pre-commitment system over the next four years to reduce the harm caused by problem gambling.

Uniting Care National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds says it’s estimated that 40 per cent of poker machine revenue comes from problem gamblers and that the impact on individuals, families and communities is well documented.

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Uniting Care was responding to the address to the 20th Annual Conference of the National Association for Gambling Studies, on the Gold Coast, by the Minister for Families, Housing and Community Services, Jenny Macklin.

Minister Macklin told the conference the Federal Government would be working with the states and territories to begin bringing in pre-commitment arrangements in 2012, with the full scheme commencing in 2014. This is two years ahead of the time frame recommended by the Productivity Commission.

Jenny Macklin says the Government is committed to implementing a $250 daily withdrawal limit for ATMs in venues with poker machines, except casinos.

She told the Conference that the Government is well aware that a full pre-commitment scheme across all states and territories is a challenging reform, and while there are very different arrangements at the moment across all the jurisdictions the Federal Government has committed to bring in its own legislation if there is no agreement with the states and territories by the end of May next year.

The Productivity Commission recommended that the Commonwealth intervene if states did not agree to implement these changes Australia-wide.

Uniting Care says Australia’s problem gamblers have access to around 200,000 poker machines Australia-wide and it’s easy to lose $1,500 or more in an hour.

Hatfield Dodds says it is imperative that gambling products and services at least meet the consumer protection requirements that are rightly imposed on other products from food to pharmaceuticals and children’s toys.

The UnitingCare network provides services to over 2 million people each year in 1,300 sites in remote, regional and metropolitan communities. The network employs 35,000 people and is supported by the work of 24,000 volunteers.
 



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One Comment

  • Libby Mitchell Libby Mitchell says:

    Pokies harm at least 30% of people who play them, but what of the 7 other people that every over-spending pokies gambler hurts? Who is protecting THEM?

    Singapore casino gamblers have to pay a yearly fee or a one-off visit fee to even use casino gambling products. Every consumer gets a purchase record. They have the ability to see what they are spending. Addiction can be nipped in the bud or avoided. Families can have loved ones excluded so they can help to stop addiction harms.

    Most importantly make gamblers contribute much more to the costs they cause. ALL drivers have to be licensed, even the safe drivers who drive rarely, so pokies should be no different. Charge a fee for the card…and make ALL gamblers get one, not just ‘regular’ gamblers.

    It is time to get this debate away from “Just helping problem gamblers”. This is a general consumer issue where consumers have rights and ALSO they have responsibilities.

    Pokies addiction might not be felt by a lot of people ‘across the board’ but it certainly HURTS a lot of innocent people ‘across the board’!

    Those who cry ‘self-responsibility’ and ‘nanny state’? You KNOW that people cannot be ‘responsible’ if they are gripped by addiction and you KNOW that INNOCENT others MUST be better protected!

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