Majority Back Gambling Pre-Commitment: Research
12 September 2011 at 5:27 pm
Two-thirds of Australians (67%) support the Federal Government’s proposed gambling reforms – including mandatory pre-commitment technology on poker machines – according to a report by progressive research organisation Essential Media.
According to a survey of 1,004 people, 67% of Australians support the proposed gambling reforms, with only 25% of respondents indicating they oppose the reforms.
The controversial proposed gambling laws include “pre-commitment” technology, which requires poker machine players to have a card registered in their name and pre-programmed to limit the amount of money they are able to lose in a 24-hour period.
The report is based on a weekly ‘omnibus’ survey conducted online from the 7th to 11th of September by social and market research company Your Source on behalf of Essential Media.
Support for the reforms has changed little since research was undertaken in April, rising by only 2%.
An expensive advertising campaign on behalf of ClubsAustralia and the Australian Hotel Association slamming the reforms seems to have had little effect on public attitudes.
Since April there has only been a 4% increase in the number of Australians who oppose the reforms.
The reforms are most popular with younger Australians – 73% of respondents aged under 35 support the proposal compared to 66% of those aged 35-54 and 61% of those aged 55 and over.
The survey results also show that the reforms are supported by voters of all parties – although support from Liberal and National party voters was lower at 59%.
Chair of the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce, Rev Tim Costello said the research shows clear majority support among all age groups, and across the political spectrum.
Rev Costello says the poll shows that Australians want clear action to reduce the harm being done by poker machines – and that Australians have not been taken in by the industry campaign against reform.
He says the noise from the Clubs campaign would make someone think there’s uproar in the community about these reforms, and that Andrew Wilkie is an obsessive one-man band. These results demonstrate overwhelming support for the policy agreed by Andrew Wilkie and the Gillard Government, fighting narrow and destructive vested interests.
Costello says the reforms give poker machine players choice and control by deciding ahead of time how much they are willing to lose in any gambling session. These limits can be as high or as low as the player likes. No one is telling them how much they can or can’t spend, simply that players have to at least think about their losses ahead of time.
The Essential Research can be accessed at http://www.essentialmedia.com.au/essential-report/