Uniting for Change! Tim Costello on Poker Machine Reform
Poker Machine Reforms will Empower Problem Gamblers By Rev. Tim Costello
Poker machines are in the limelight. Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s minority government is in place courtesy of Tasmanian Independent Andrew Wilkie, a bloke with a passion for making poker machine gambling safer.
In return for his support, the Government must pass legislation by May next year that requires all poker machine players to decide ahead of time how much they are willing to lose on poker machines in any gambling session.
These limits can be as high or as low as the player likes. No one is telling them how much they can or can’t spend. Once ‘in the zone’ problem gamblers say they can’t make safe choices. In a sober moment, in the cold light of day, players can, an
d want to, limit their losses.
But the industry is not happy. Forty per cent of their profits come from people addicted to poker machines. As the reforms take effect, the clubs and pubs that depend on revenue from people with a gambling problem will experience significant losses.
In the light of these predicted losses they have launched a self interested, misleading grass roots campaign in NSW and Queensland, crying clubs will go broke, that jobs will be lost and communities will fall apart.
A business model that depends on other people’s misery is indefensible on ethical and economic grounds…..
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