The regulation of the gambling industry clearly is not working, with poker machine spending rising $43 million in Victoria in the past 12 months.

Australian Christian Lobby Victorian Director Dan Flynn said the increased windfall for gambling houses demonstrated that not enough was being done to tackle the harm that gambling caused in families and the community.

“The concentration of machines, and poker machine earnings, in lower socio-economic postcodes demonstrates the nature of this state sanctioned exploitation of the poor,” Mr Flynn said

According to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation report, Victorians lost almost $2.6 billion on poker machines in the past year.

“While the Australian Christian Lobby is thankful for the efforts that have been done by both the Liberal and Labor parties to introduce harm minimisation policies, it is clear from the report that many individuals and families are still hurting with poker machines focused on areas of disadvantage and social stress,” Mr Flynn said.

“Both the Labor and Liberal parties need to put an end to receiving political donations from the gambling industry. After taking such donations, the parties clearly have a vested interest in maintaining the gambling industry.

“It is time for the Andrews Government to take the side of those who are being hurt by the prevalence of poker machines in Victoria.”

There are more than 27,000 poker machines in Victoria.

“The Victorian Government needs to find ways to remove its dependence on taxation revenue from gambling,” Mr Flynn said.

“The ACL is willing to work alongside the Andrews Government in developing legislative measures that will bring about real reforms to the gambling sector for the wellbeing of all Victorians.”

ENDS

Read the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation Reform here.

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