Problem Gambling Inquiry For Victoria
27 June 2012 at 3:17 pm
The Victorian Government is to conduct an inquiry into problem gambling
The Victorian Coalition Government is to conduct an inquiry into the economic and social costs of problem gambling, describing it as the first of its kind in Australia.
Treasurer Kim Wells said the Coalition Government is delivering on its election commitment to have the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC), as an independent body, undertake the inquiry.
“The inquiry will contribute to an important body of knowledge and better inform the community of the costs of problem gambling not just to individuals but also to families, businesses and government,” Wells
"The commitment followed an Auditor-General's report which found the former Labor Government's problem gambling strategy was based on no evidence, had no targets and could not be assessed.
"The inquiry will ensure the government and the community knows the true social and economic costs of problem gambling.”
Gaming Minister Michael O’Brien said while gambling taxation revenue was often the focus of debate about the role of government in regulating gambling, there was insufficient information about the economic costs of problem gambling to government and others.
“We know through involvement with the criminal justice system, mental health and social welfare services among others that problem gambling imposes a significant cost on government, as well as others in the
community,” O’Brien said.
“Evidence gathered by this inquiry will contribute to a better informed public debate on these issues.
“The Coalition Government views problem gambling as a significant social and economic issue and we are committed to the pursuit of an evidence-based approach to tackling it.”
As part of its inquiry, VCEC has been requested to consult with a broad range of stakeholders including responsible gambling and welfare organisations, health and community groups, the gambling industry, business and relevant government agencies.
The inquiry is expected to take six months to complete, with the final report to be provided to the Treasurer by 14 December 2012. Terms of reference can be found on VCEC’s website.