By Andrew Starke

Clubs Australia has described the Federal Government’s response to the Productivity Commission’s report into gambling as a victory for common sense and recognition that there is no silver bullet solution to problem gambling.

The industry body said it looked forward to communicating to the Federal Government its belief that a pre-commitment gambling system will only succeed if it does not make compulsory a requirement for all Australians to use a gambling license when playing a poker machine.

ClubsAustralia executive director, Anthony Ball, said a compulsory gambling license sent the wrong message to both problem gamblers and recreational gamblers.

“Technology that is expensive to implement and allows problem gamblers to continue betting will not erase problem gambling from the community,” he said.

“The best strategy for problem gamblers will always be to ensure the counselling and education they need is readily available so that they don’t gamble at all.

“The Federal Government has said it will extensively consult with the club industry and the states which is a good starting point.

“I’m confident that together we will come up with a mandated technology that gives all Australians a choice of whether they want a pre-determined loss limit or not, when playing a poker machine.”

Clubs Australia rejected the Productivity Commission’s 'headline grabbing' recommendation to limit a bet on a poker machine to $1.

“The University of Sydney’s Gambling Research Unit found that just 7.5% of problem gamblers bet more than $1 per play,” said Ball.

“Everyone wants to see problem gambling continue to decline in the community. We’ve already seen it fall by 50 percent over the past ten years in every state. Yet the Productivity Commission inexplicably glosses over this achievement.”


The Shout Team

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