NFPs Welcome Pokies Legislation
30 November 2012 at 3:39 pm
The National Gambling Reform Bill 2012 has been passed by Parliament.
Not for Profit organisations have welcomed the passing of the controversial pokies legislation through the Federal Parliament.
The National Gambling Reform Bill 2012 was secured by a one vote majority in the House of Representatives following its introduction to Parliament earlier this month.
The Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce congratulated the Federal Government saying that the passing of the poker machine reform legislation was “historic”.
Taskforce Chair Rev Tim Costello said that the legislation will provide some protection for people who play the pokies, especially those people who are addicted to the machines and other people who are at risk of harm.
“Under the new legislation all poker machines will be fitted with pre commitment technology,” Costello said.
“Gamblers will be able to set a limit that applies to all poker machines across the state. The legislation also introduces ATM withdrawal limits of $250 from February 2013.
Costello said that the measures in the legislation will provide greater protection for people who are living with a gambling addiction and for those people who are at risk of developing a problem.
“We believe the legislation is a solid platform for further reform,” he said.
Costello said that members of the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce, which include the heads of Christian churches in Australia and the heads of their social services agencies nationally, have been long-time advocates for reform.
“Australia’s $12 billion poker machine industry survives largely on the back of vulnerable people in the grip of addiction. Around 40 per cent of total poker machine revenue comes from people addicted to pokies,” Costello said.
“The Taskforce has consistently called for a mandatory pre commitment scheme that requires gamblers in all electronic gaming venues to set spending limits on high loss poker machines.
“We have also called for $1 maximum bets on all machines limiting losses to $120 an hour, and other consumer protection measures such as reduced access to cash in gambling venues.”
The Taskforce also acknowledged the efforts of Member for Denison Andrew Wilkie and the support of the Australian Greens and key Independents.
“The Government is to be congratulated on this success under such difficult circumstances. It was encouraging to see politics put aside in this hung Parliament as politicians of good will voted in favour of the legislation,” Costello said.