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Responsibility for problem gambling should be shared between the individual, industry and Government: Greens

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 15 May 2012

At the start of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, Greens’ gambling spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale, poses the question of who really needs to take responsibility.

“Personal responsibility is an important message this week,” said Senator Di Natale. “However as a health professional who has worked in addiction medicine, I know that personal responsibility becomes much more complex when addiction is at play.

“Psychological, cultural and genetic factors can all compromise a person’s capacity to make choices. A person abused as a child or born into a family where alcohol is abused is more likely to make poor choices. That’s why government and industry also have an important role to play.

“Given that Australia is the world’s most prolific gambling nation and the social costs of problem gambling are almost $5 billion, we need to consider a broader notion of responsibility.

“But rather than taking responsibility, the pokies industry has run a deceptive and misleading campaign against pokies reform for almost two years in a cynical attempt to preserve their profits. And pokies manufacturers continue to spend millions of dollars in creating games that are as addictive as possible.

“Our sporting codes also need to step up to the plate. Footy and gambling have become so entangled that gambling odds are now a big part of how our kids understand the game.

“In this environment it’s more important than ever for Government to take responsibility.

“The make-up of this parliament is the best chance this country has to significantly reduce the harm from pokies, without impacting on recreational gamblers, by bringing in a $1 bet limits on pokies.

“This year I hope that Responsible Gambling Awareness Week reminds us that individuals, industry and government all have a responsibility to limit the harm from gambling.”

Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600

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