SOUTH AUSTRALIA'S 2013 POKIES BILL (EXCLUDING SKYCITY CASINO)
(Based on 2011 OLGC statistics)
AUSTRALIA'S 2013 POKIES BILL (INCLUDING CASINOS)
(Based on statistics cited in PC report into gambling, 2010)
I first decided to run for political office while I was working as a personal injuries lawyer.
A client of mine who had a brain injury had received a pay-out. One day he came to my office in tears wondering why his ‘friends’ didn’t want to be his ’friends’ any more. It turned out his ‘friends’ were the proprietors as his local pokies venue.
My anger spurred me on to find out more about this industry and the more I did, the more disgusted I became.
The poker machines industry is an industry based on exploitation. According to the Productivity Commission 40% of all losses on poker machines come from problem gamblers. Poker machines lead to at least 400 suicides annually and poker machines are the second highest cause of crime in the community after the illicit drug trade.
So why is this dangerous product still legal? I believe it has something to do with the $4 billion a year state governments receive in poker machine taxes.
Federal Poker Machine Reform
It's no secret that I am very disappointed by the Prime Minister's decision to back away from her agreement with Lower House Independent Andrew Wilkie, which woud have seen the implementation of the Productivity Commission’s proposal to introduce mandatory pre-commitment on poker machines.
The Government has instead indicated it will instead undertake a large scale trial of mandatory pre-commitment, introducing a $250 daily withdrawal limit from ATMs in gaming venues (excluding casinos) by February 2013 and introducing electronic warnings and cost of play displays on poker machines by 2016.
These 'reforms' could have been written by the Clubs themselves.
While the watered-down reforms will not be as effective in protecting problem gamblers as mandatory pre-commitment or $1 maximum bets, it is encouraging that the issue of poker machine reform is still on the national agenda. The table below
I will continue to do all I can to advocate for meaningful poker machine reform - and encourage you to do the same, whether it by contacting your local MP or Senator, joining the Stop the Loss Coalition or by raising the issue with friends and family.