GOLD COAST INVITED TO HAVE THEIR SAY ON GAMBLING REFORM
04 November 2011
The Federal Coalition’s Policy Discussion Paper on Gambling Reform is an opportunity for the Gold Coast to have its say on the important issue of problem gambling, says Moncrieff MP Steven Ciobo.
“I know Labor’s mandatory pre-commitment policy for poker machines has the Coast’s clubs fearing for their future. This is their chance to have a say,” he said.
The discussion paper, released this week, covers all types of gambling including the fast growing area of online gambling.
“I understand that gambling is a major problem for some people,” said Mr Ciobo.
“For many others, it is a recreational activity that they enjoy responsibly within personal limits that they set for themselves. It is also an industry that employs over 150,000 people throughout Australia including many people here on the Gold Coast,” he said.
“The challenge for governments is balancing the legitimate right of adult Australians to gamble responsibly with the establishment of appropriate protections and support for the small number of people for whom gambling can have tragic personal and financial consequences.
“The Coalition’s approach to problem gambling is about addressing the social, economic and policy challenges of gambling reform. The Gillard Government and its mandatory pre-commitment scheme is about responding to the politics of minority government.
“I am not persuaded that mandatory pre-commitment will address problem gambling. Indeed, my concern is the significant flow-on impacts on employment and on our local community.
“I’ve already had surf lifesaving clubs tell me they’re not going to be able to update equipment such as rescue boards, tubes and IRBs when Labor introduces their extreme scheme because it will send them broke.
“And other clubs have said they’ll have to shut their doors.”
Mr Ciobo is a member of the Working Group established by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to consider the responses from the community, industry, state and territory governments and to investigate options that effectively address problem gambling.
“I invite community members to participate in this debate, by reading the discussion paper and giving me their feedback,” he said.
The Policy Discussion Paper on Gambling Reform presents a number of policy options for which the Coalition seeks community and industry comment.
These options include:
- A national voluntary pre-commitment programme
- More and better targeted counselling and support services
- A nationally consistent ‘self-exclusion’ programme, including consideration of extending self-exclusion programmes to third parties, such as immediate family members
- Prohibiting betting firms offering credit to gamblers
- Prohibiting the promotion of live odds during the live broadcast of a sports event
The Working Group is receiving written submissions until 31 January 2012 and is expected to report back to the Federal Opposition Leader by the end of February 2012.
Copies of the discussion paper can be downloaded from www.liberal.org.au and are also available from Mr Ciobo’s electorate office.