By Clyde Mooney
Clubs Australia has called a formal end to its 'Won't work, will hurt' campaign against mandatory pre-commitment on gaming machines, and is pushing for effective reforms.
With the pre-commitment proposal now restricted to a trial in the ACT, Clubs has asked supporters of the campaign to down arms, removing posters, beer coasters, billboards, t-shirts, flyers and TV screen material.
The organisation is now following through on its pledges to help problem gamblers, with support for a number of the new Government policies such as significant funding for counselling, a ban on broadcasting betting odds during sport, addressing credit gambling online, and empowering family members to intervene with venue assistance.
Clubs executive director, Anthony Ball, stressed that effective reform requires venue cooperation and industry consultation throughout the implementation process.
"Clubs Australia looks forward to working cooperatively with the Commonwealth, along with state and territory governments, through the COAG process to further improve prevention, intervention and treatment strategies for problem gamblers.
"We are committed to working with experts, counsellors and state and territory governments to implement evidence-based approaches to further lower problem gambling rates in all Australian jurisdictions," he said.
Ball praised the hundreds of thousands of people who supported clubs and hotels by attending rallies, signing petitions in the form of beer coasters and sending letters to their local MPs.
Ball pronounced that the outcome was not only right for the hundreds of thousands of Australians working in the hospitality and gaming industries, but for problem gamblers themselves.