For release: October 15, 2010

Time for NSW to kick its poker machine addiction

The Australian Christian Lobby today urged the NSW Premier and Leader of the Opposition to stop playing politics on gambling policy.

ACL’s NSW Director David Hutt, said problem gambling was a serious issue for Australia and called on the Government and Opposition to take a more constructive approach to tackling problem gambling.

“What we have seen today from the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition has been a completely unedifying display,” Mr Hutt said. “NSW needs a premier who will show leadership in tackling problem gambling.

“The ‘he said/she said’ debate of the last 24 hours has missed the mark completely. Poker machines are a serious problem for NSW.

“The Productivity Commission report into gambling estimated the social cost of problem gambling to Australia as being as high as $4.7 billion a year. This is unacceptably high.

“Both the Federal and Tasmanian Governments are looking at ways of reducing the burden poker machines place on society. There is no reason why NSW can’t lead the way on tackling problem gambling.

“It’s time for Labor and the Liberals to check into rehab and wean themselves off their poker machine addiction.”

Media Contact: David Hutt 0409 678 484