Gambling addiction is a serious issue in Australia. You can’t watch a game of cricket without being bombarded with advertisements for betting on the match, nor can you enter your local RSL (excluding WA) without being confronted with the bright lights and sounds of poker machines eating up the hard-earned dollars of Australians.
There are two views you can take on such a significant issue. You can look from the outside in at those gambling as idiots who have no self-control and deserve to lose their money, betting on a programmed computer that will ALWAYS win in the long run. Or you can be the person with an open mind who understands that addiction is a serious illness in Australia, whether it’s addiction to food, alcohol, shoplifting, gambling or shopping.
The recent actions of Andrew Wilkie should be commended, yet many have called the proposed poker reforms ‘Nanny State reforms’, when they couldn’t be further from the truth. Problem gambling affects not just the gamblers, it also affects their friends and family. Currently there is NO pre-commitment technology on poker machines, yet the online gambling industry has introduced a range of different pre-commitments on their websites, from monthly deposit limits to stake limits.
I find it extremely disrespectful that Clubs Australia would campaign against reforms that help those with serious gambling issues so that they can make a cheap buck at the expense of others. I find it even harder to comprehend that our Prime Minister would backflip on such an important piece of legislation when two-thirds of people surveyed backed the legislation.
Instead of criticising those who have problems, let’s extend our help to these people as much as possible, through legislation, advice or even just sitting down and telling them you think they have a problem and you are there to help.
Read the facts about poker reforms here.
Do you agree with Drew or does he have his Nanny State cap on?