Pokie compromise a setback but reform will come
Speaking after the Prime Minister’s announcement of the compromise position on poker machine reform today, National Director Lin Hatfield Dodds said “It is deeply disappointing that our federal politicians were unable to agree to evidence based reform, and action mandatory precommitment in this parliamentary term.
“Problem gambling will continue to cause untold damage to the lives of people struggling with pokie addiction, with huge knock on impacts for their families and communities.”
“If the legislation outlined by the Prime Minister today passes through Parliament we will have national legislation regulating pokies for the first time. This is a significant step in the right direction.
“The pokie industry profits from those most vulnerable in our community, relying on an immoral business model where 40% of the multi-billion dollar profits comes from less than 100,000 problem gamblers.
The pokie industry and those who support it have thrown a lot of money at slowing down real reform. “They may have saved their profits but not their standing in our community”.
“While we will not get the reform needed in this Parliamentary term, the pokie industry needs to be on notice that we will get there in the end. The human cost of the obscene pokies profit is just too high.
“Everyone is now on record agreeing that pokie reforms must be evidence based. Most of us, including the Productivity Commission, believe that the evidence for mandatory precommitment is already there and is unequivocal.
“UnitingCare Australia calls on the pokie industry to commit to the implementation of mandatory precommitment when the ACT trial returns positive outcomes.”