Removal of ATM’s from gaming venues a win for problem gamblers

The recent drop in poker machine spending in Victoria is a win for problem gamblers and their families and should inspire further reform, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

The Victorian government in July this year banned ATMs from the State’s 511 poker machine venues. As a result there has been a significant drop in poker machine spending of 6.7 per cent or $62 million since the initiative.

ACL’s Victorian Director Dan Flynn said this is a win for victims of problem gambling and that further reforms such as $1 bets or mandatory pre-commitment should be pursued.

“Church and community groups – who all too often have to pick up the broken lives and families damaged by problem gambling – will welcome the news of successful gambling reform in Victoria, which includes a ban on poker machine headphones and rules out the possibility of a second casino,” Mr Flynn said.

“The reduction in gambling expenditure will make a dint in the cost to the state of $1.5 billion and $2.1 billion respectively in economic and social costs as estimated by the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission,” Mr Flynn said.

The ban on ATMs in gambling venues was announced in March 2008 by the then ALP Victorian government, effective from July 2012.

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