Problem Gambling Plan Devised by Clubs Australia

Staff from Pokies venues are going to discuss how to curb problem gambling and the treatment of problem gamblers. The idea is to put forward a self-exclusion option under a plan that would be initiated by federal MPs from the powerful clubs industry.

Clubs Australia Problem Gambling Initiative

All federal politicians will receive a policy paper titled “Part of the Solution” from Clubs Australia, it represents more than 6000 non-profit clubs. The paper requests that state governments form a close-knit relationship with the industry and a responsible-gambling training program must be developed by researchers. In order to help staff identify gambling addicts they must list the symptoms of a problem gambler.

”This would involve staff approaching patrons displaying the signs of problematic gambling and starting a respectful conversation to inquire about the patrons’ welfare and, where necessary, offering them assistance such as self-exclusions or referral to appropriate help services.”

Clubs Australia initiated the campaign against the government’s now defunct mandatory commitment scheme, said it wants to improve self-exclusion programs so punters can be barred from various venues, and to enable family members to start a third-party intervention. The paper stipulates that ”consistent with a public health approach, the primary goal of this policy is to promote a culture of responsible gambling among all stakeholders, ensuring both healthy communities and a vibrant and sustainable gambling industry”.

All new policies should be considered especially those that could benefit the community, estimates range from $3.7 billion to $11.1 billion. When ideas are assessed it is imperative that a detailed cost-benefit and risk analysis be made first. It says prevalence rates and projected costs associated with problem gambling total approximately $4.7 billion according to the Productivity Commission. In hindsight it is way lower than other public health issues such as obesity, smoking, mental illness, problem drinking and illicit drug use. The paper also says that Business compliance costs of any new rules must be taken into account as well.

It says, ”Rather than measures that seek to prevent a minority of people from making bad choices by restricting consumer choice, the industry supports measures that empower our patrons to make informed choices, while offering target assistance to those unable to make rational choices.”

Problem gambling is not confined to poker machines only Clubs Australia said. According to the Productivity Commission there are 95,000 poker-machine problem gamblers who contribute about 40 per cent of all pokies spending, therefore prevention measures should not be confined to one form of gambling.

Clubs Australia concluded by saying that credit betting in all forms must be banned in Australia, with the exception of certain casinos. The Australian government is currently thinking of legalizing online gambling in the country.



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