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Pages tagged "gaming"
MR: Australians’ gambling losses build the case for reform
· February 05, 2014 11:00 AM
Wednesday 5th February 2014
Reforms to the gaming industry should remain on the political agenda in light of fresh reports that Australians are the world’s biggest gamblers, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.
published recently in The Economist
, puts Australian gambling losses at around $1144 per resident.
ACL’s Managing Director Lyle Shelton said the government should be focused on reforming poker machine regulation to tackle the growing gambling problem and associated poverty it causes.
“ACL believes poker machine reform needs to remain on the agenda; the recommendations of the 2010 Parliamentary Committee for $1 bets should be considered afresh by the new government,” he said.
“There were 95,000 poker machine addicts in Australia losing around $5 billion per year,” Mr Shelton said.
“The depth of the problem in Australian society means it is an issue that cannot continue to be put in the too hard basket,” he said.
“Strategies are needed to wean state governments off their dependency on poker machine revenue, particularly New South Wales. The state has one third of Australia’s population and half the country’s poker machines,” Mr Shelton said.
The 2010 Productivity Commission’s report highlighted that governments across Australia make about $5 billion a year from gambling taxes and that Australians spend about $19 billion a year on gambling. The cost to problems gamblers was between $4.7 billion and $8.4 billion a year.
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Dan Flynn on the Political Spot
· December 04, 2012 11:00 AM
Dan Flynn is the Victorian Director of the Australian Christian Lobby. He spoke to the ACL's Katherine Spackman about the drop in money being spent on pokies in the state since it banned ATMs in gaming venues.
MR: Removal of ATM’s from gaming venues a win for problem gamblers
· December 03, 2012 11:00 AM
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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MR: Pokie reform bill should be just the beginning
· November 29, 2012 11:00 AM
For release: Thursday, November 29, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed tonight’s passing of legislation putting modest curbs on harmful poker machines.
Managing Director Jim Wallace said ACL hoped today’s reforms would be just the beginning of meaningful reform to stop the harm of poker machines to people suffering from addiction to them.
“While the reforms are modest, it is significant that the Parliament has recognised the damage poker machines do to our community.
“It is disappointing that the Government reneged on its promise to Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilke for more meaningful reform, as integrity in public life is paramount.
“It is also disappointing that the Opposition opposed this legislation.”
Mr Wallace said it was important that the major parties were able to stand up to the vested interests of the industry which profited from problem gamblers and State Governments which were addicted to taxation revenue from poker machines.
$12 billion goes into 200,000 poker machines each year, half of which are in New South Wales. $5 billion of this comes out of the pockets of problem gamblers.
The reforms force owners to make machines ready for mandatory pre-commitment in the future, limit withdrawals from ATMs in gaming venues (excluding casinos) to $250 and mandate warnings on machines to gamblers.
Rev Tim Costello on The Political Spot
· November 06, 2012 11:00 AM
Rev Tim Costello is Chair of the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce. He spoke with Ben Williams about the introduction of the National Gambling Reform Bill 2012 into the federal parliament last week
MR: ACL welcomes federal gambling reform
· November 01, 2012 11:00 AM
For release: Thursday, November 1, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby welcomes the introduction of gambling reform legislation which will require all poker machines to be fitted with pre-commitment technology by 2016, and will introduce ATM withdrawal limits of $250 from next year.
ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said the legislation establishes the important precedent of federal intervention in poker machine regulation.
While the legislation will go some way to addressing the issue of problem gambling in Australia, it is only a small step in the right direction Mr Wallace said.
“Pre-commitment technology and ATM withdrawal limits are an important start, but it will only go so far in alleviating the destructive force of poker machine addiction,” he said.
“Problem gamblers will not be required to commit to how much they will lose, and it will not be difficult to get around the ATM withdrawal limits.”
Mr Wallace echoed Independent MP Andrew Wilkie’s statement that the legislation lays the groundwork for further government intervention and reform in this area.
He joined Mr Wilkie as well as the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce in calling for mandatory pre-commitment and $1 maximum bets.
“There are 95,000 problem poker machine gamblers who lose $5 billion each year on poker machines,” he said.
“$1 maximum bets would limit losses to $120 per hour, but this is still far more than most problem gamblers can afford to lose.”
“Taking this first step is important, but we must continue the reform to address this national tragedy,” Mr Wallace said.
MR: Bipartisan approach needed to tackle problem gambling
· October 24, 2012 11:00 AM
For release: Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has called for a bipartisan approach to reduce problem gambling in New South Wales before considering a second casino for Sydney.
ACL’s NSW Director David Hutt said, “problem gambling is causing bankruptcy, increasing crime, and breaking up marriages.
“Successive New South Wales governments have been addicted to gambling revenues. Problem gambling is destroying lives right across this state.
“New South Wales has one third of Australia’s population and half the country’s poker machines.
“It is time the New South Wales Government articulated a clear and achievable strategy to wean itself off gambling revenues and reduce the number of poker machines in the state.
“This should be the government’s priority, not a second casino.”
Mr Hutt welcomed assurances from the Labor Opposition it would not support the allocation of poker machine licences in any second casino. ACL called for a bipartisan approach to tackling problem gambling in NSW.
by Roy Morgan shows spending on poker machines is up in the last quarter to $2.9 billion, and that ‘expenditure is much higher on poker machines than any other form of gambling.’
The 2010 Productivity Commission’s report highlighted that governments across Australia make about $5 billion a year from gambling taxes and that Australians spend about $19 billion a year on gambling. The cost to problem gamblers was between $4.7 billion and $8.4 billion a year.
“As long as the government feeds the gambling industry, we will continue to see the negative impacts of poker machine addictions to problem gamblers and their families and friends,” Mr Hutt said.
Gaming industry mirrors ‘big tobacco’ in denial of violent gaming effects
· March 01, 2010 11:00 AM
For release: March 1, 2010
Gaming industry claims that the link between violent computer games and
aggressive thoughts or behaviour is unproven are reminiscent of the tactics of tobacco companies in questioning the link between smoking and lung cancer, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) said today.
ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said there is overwhelming evidence linking violent video games and aggression. Research also shows that violent computer games, because of their interactive nature, have a higher impact on their players than similar film content has on its viewers.
“At a time of strong public disquiet about depictions of violence in the media, the continued rejection of the R18+ rating for games would maintain the primacy of protecting vulnerable young people, as a principle in public policy above that of allowing people to read, hear and see whatever objectionable material they want,” the ACL stated in a submission to the Attorney-General’s Department opposing the introduction of an R18+ classification for computer games.
Mr Wallace said that commercial interests obviously have a stake in presenting the view that the link between violent video games and aggression does not exist and he urged the consultation’s secretariat to carefully analyse the source of information supporting this claim.
In the 2009 paper ‘Video game effects confirmed, suspected and speculative: A review of the evidence’, Barlett, C.P., Anderson, C.A. & Swing, E.L. spell out the clear link, stating: “Multiple studies have found overwhelming evidence to suggest that exposure to violent video games is causally related to . . . aggressive feelings, aggressive thoughts, and physiological arousal . . . aggressive behaviour, and other variables.”
Mr Wallace also pointed to serious flaws in the consultation process over this issue, saying that the development of a submission template which respondents were encouraged to use invited simplistic, formulaic responses which wouldn’t effectively weigh up the real issues at stake.
“The discussion paper itself also says nothing about the nature or content of R18+ games and takes an issue with the potential for strong social impact and reduces it down to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question. In this way it appears to be predicated towards an outcome that does not respect the complexity of this critical social issue – reducing it to a show of hands,” Mr Wallace said.
Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan on 0408 875 979.
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