The Australian Christian Lobby welcomes the announcement today that a joint select parliamentary committee will be formed to consider the future of Tasmania’s gaming industry.
ACL Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said he was pleased with Treasurer Peter Gutwein’s statement today that he wanted a transparent public consultation process, with a report to be ready by the end of the year.
The announcement follows a special screening of the documentary Ka-Ching! Pokie Nation that was hosted Wednesday night by the ACL in the Tasmanian Parliament House.
“At the screening politicians were reminded again of the bad effects gambling has on our community, so it is good to see the Government respond today so positively,” Mr Brown said.
“The Australian Christian Lobby believes any review should consider ways to reduce the addictive nature of gaming machines as well as reduce the number of machines.
“Approximately 27,000 Tasmanians are directly or indirectly affected by pokie addiction, including an estimated 2,000 children.”
Mr Brown made the comments following last night’s special ACL screening of the documentary Ka-Ching! Pokie Nation at Parliament House in Hobart, which was attended by a range of politicians.
“Deliberately inducing addictive behaviour with the aim of extracting large amounts of money from vulnerable people is morally abhorrent,” Mr Brown said.
“Every Tasmanian, and especially every politician needs to see this film’s powerful message.”
Leading gambling expert Dr Charles Livingstone from Monash University, who appeared in the documentary and spoke at the screening, said pokies were highly addictive.
“Pokies are a dangerous and addictive product, and need to be regulated as such,” Dr Livingstone said.
“Tasmanians support major reform of pokie regulation and the Government needs to stand up to the pokie monopoly and listen to the community.
“Pokies are a box of tricks, intended to addict, and pokie profits are fuelled by addiction.
“it was great to see Tasmanian politicians engaged at the screening in discussion about pokie harm – now they need to act.”