By Clyde Mooney

In support of its ongoing campaign against the introduction of mandatory pre-commitment (MPC) on poker machines, Clubs Australia has broadcast news of a study that shows the system has failed to reduce problem gambling overseas.

Norway legislated for MPC four years ago in an attempt to curb the increasing problem of excessive gambling that then affected 1.3 percent of the population.

A recent study found that the current rate of problem gambling has increased to 2.1 percent of the population, with gamblers increasingly going online for their activities.

Norwegian media has reported numerous cases of problem gamblers using multiple cards to circumvent the betting limit, sometimes registered to a relative or even children.

Clubs Australia president, Peter Newell, said the study makes a mockery of the claims by Andrew Wilkie that MPC will reduce the rates of problem gambling, and Senator Nick Xenophon’s statement that Norway’s system has made a real difference to problem gambling.

“Norway proves mandatory pre-commitment delivers the worst of both worlds,” said Newell.

“It fails to reduce the number of problem gamblers, while at the same time driving social gamblers online and financially crippling clubs.

“This study confirms what leading gambling researcher Professor Alex Blaszczynski personally told Andrew Wilkie earlier this year – you don’t help a problem gambler by giving them a gambling card, you help them by providing education, counselling and support.”

The Shout Team

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

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