Sunday 14. August, 2016

Cross Benchers Join Forces to Combat Problem Gambling in South Australia

A new gambling bill has been introduced by South Australian Legislative Council crossbenchers in an attempt to combat problem gambling in the state. The bill calls for the removal of EFTPOS machines from gambling areas and a $1 limit on bets.

The Statutes Amendment (Gaming Area Prohibitions and Barring Orders) Bill 2016 which amends the Casino Act 1997, the Gaming Machines Act 1992 and the Independent Gambling Authority Act 1995, aims to reduce harm from problem gambling.

The bill has been introduced by Family First, Dignity for Disability, the Greens and Nick Xenophon’s team, together with Associate Professor Michael O’Neil from the University of Adelaide’s SA Centre of Economic Studies.

The bill would remove EFTPOS machines from gambling venues and reduce the maximum bet of $5 on gambling machines to $1. It would also give gaming venues more power to report at risk gamblers.

“The crossbench often doesn’t see eye to eye on issues, but on this matter we have been able to set aside any differences and work together for the benefit of South Australians, especially those who are affected by problem gambling and their families. We call on the government and the opposition to give full support to these changes,” stated Family First MLC, Robert Brokenshire.

Greens MLC Tammy Franks praised the bill, commenting on the importance of these reforms.

“Limiting machines to $1 bets as recommended by the Productivity Commission is a common sense reform that won’t affect most players, but will absolutely help problem gamblers limit their losses,” said Franks.

“Problem gambling leads to the obvious financial loss, but can also have a devastating human toll, relationships and lives are lost. We should be doing all we can to support those who need help.”

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