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Government pokies bill means little for problem gamblers: Greens

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 22 May 2012

Government pokies bill means little for problem gamblers: Greens

Greens’ gambling spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale, said today that the Greens cannot guarantee their support for the Government’s pokies legislation its current form.

“This minority parliament provides an opportunity to achieve something meaningful for pokies machines and I don’t want to just throw that away,” said Senator Di Natale.

“The fact is that the Government’s legislation, in its current form, doesn’t achieve any meaningful reform. The test is what would be different for a problem gambler sitting at a machine in a few years time, and the answer is not much.

“Clubs Australia would be popping champagne bottles following Andrew Wilkie’s announcement of support today, and that should tell you everything you need to know about the strength of the reform.

“The Greens have a bill before the Senate at the moment that would bring in $1 bet limits next year. That would significantly reduce the harm suffered by problem gamblers and their families at the hands of pokies.

“The Government’s legislation just means that we will have the same debate, with the same people, a few years down the track. The likelihood is that a future Parliament will not have such an appetite for reform.

“The Greens would like to see pokies reform pass through the Parliament and that’s why we will try to improve the Government’s bill through amendments. We would like all machines to be ‘$1 bet ready’ as well as ‘mandatory pre-commitment ready’, and a guarantee that at the end of the trial, one or the other will be implemented.

“The time for excuses is over.”

Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600

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