By Andrew Starke

Clubs Australia says it has received commitments in writing from both major parties that they are committed to working with state governments and stakeholders to ensure that Australians can continue to gamble responsibly.

Executive director of Clubs Australia, Anthony Ball, said both parties wrote to the club industry prior to the federal election but after Julia Gillard was elected Prime Minister.

“Recent media speculation that either side would consider forcing upon all Australians a $1 max bet on poker machines is inconsistent with the commitments made to us by the Government and Opposition,” he said.

“Both parties are well aware that the rate of problem gambling has been halved in Australia over the past decade, and now stands at less than half of one percent of all adults.”

“This success doesn’t suit the political ambitions of the anti-gambling lobby and is sadly never acknowledged,” he added.

Ball said a $1 max bet would cost state governments well over half a billion dollars in tax each year and reduce the incomes of clubs and hotels by $2 billion.

“Clubs Australia is fully supportive of harm minimisation measures that are tested, proven and don’t punish responsible gamblers,” he said.

“The $1 max bet idea doesn’t tick any of those boxes.”

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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