Pokie Compromise a Setback – NFP
Monday, 23rd January 2012 at 9:59 am
Welfare Not for Profit, UnitingCare Australia, has expressed deep disappoint that Federal politicians were unable to agree to evidence based poker machine reform, and action mandatory pre-commitment in this parliamentary term.
Speaking after the Prime Minister's announcement of the compromise position on poker machine reform National Director of UnitingCare Australia, Lin Hatfield Dodds, said: "Problem gambling will continue to cause untold damage to the lives of people struggling with pokie addiction, with huge knock on impacts for their families and communities."
"If the legislation outlined by the Prime Minister passes through Parliament we will have national legislation regulating pokies for the first time. This is a significant step in the right direction.
"The pokie industry profits from those most vulnerable in our community, relying on an immoral business model where 40% of the multi-billion dollar profits comes from less than 100,000 problem gamblers.
“The pokie industry and those who support it have thrown a lot of money at slowing down real reform. They may have saved their profits but not their standing in our community
"While we will not get the reform needed in this Parliamentary term, the pokie industry needs to be on notice that we will get there in the end. The human cost of the obscene pokies profit is just too high.
"Everyone is now on record agreeing that pokie reforms must be evidence based. Most of us, including the Productivity Commission, believe that the evidence for mandatory precommitment is already there and is unequivocal.
"UnitingCare Australia calls on the pokie industry to commit to the implementation of mandatory precommitment when the ACT trial returns positive outcomes.”
Late last week, the Prime Minister abandoned her agreement with independent MP Andrew Wilkie to implement mandatory pre-commitment technology on poker machines by 2014.
Instead, the technology will be trialled in the ACT from next year and a decision deferred until 2016.
Clubs Australia, which had waged a multi-million dollar campaign against the reforms, has welcomed the government's trial.
Read our coverage of the Pokie Reforms issue here.