Australians overwhelmingly back gambling reform: Essential Poll

Australians overwhelmingly back gambling reform: Essential Poll

An Essential Research Poll has highlighted the overwhelming majority support in the Australian community for the Government’s gambling reform, including pre-commitment technology.

The Poll shows that 67 per cent of Australians support the reforms which include “pre-commitment” technology that will require pokie players to have a card registered to their name and pre-programmed to prevent them losing more than a set amount in a 24-hour period.

Chair of the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce, the Rev. Tim Costello said the research shows clear majority support among all age groups, and across the political spectrum.

“This poll demonstrates again that most Australians want clear action to reduce the harm being done by poker machines.  It shows that Australians have not been taken in by the industry campaign against reform.

“The noise from the Clubs campaign would make you think there’s uproar in the community about these reforms, and that Andrew Wilkie is an obsessive one-man band.  These results demonstrate overwhelming support for the policy agreed by Andrew Wilkie and the Gillard Government, fighting narrow and destructive vested interests.

“It sends a strong signal to politicians of all stripes that they should get on board with their constituents, and get behind reform.

“The opportunity exists for the Parliament to take action that will make a real difference. These reforms will give poker machine players choice and control by deciding ahead of time how much they are willing to lose in any gambling session.

“These limits can be as high or as low as the player likes. No one is telling them how much they can or can’t spend, simply that players have to at least think about their losses ahead of time.”

The Poll reinforces the findings of an ANU study of public opinion released in July, and an earlier Essential Poll in April.

The Essential Research can be accessed here.

Members of the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce include the heads of Australian Christian churches and the heads of their social services agencies nationally, united by a commitment to make poker machine gambling safer.

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