Wednesday, 14 February 2018
I, and also on behalf of Senator Bartlett and Senator McKim, move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) Australia is home to 0.3 per cent of the world's population, but 18 per cent of the world's poker machines,
(ii) Australians lose more money to poker machines than anywhere else in the world per capita,
(iii) most countries around the world, 226 out of 238, have no poker machines in pubs and clubs,
(iv) a 2010 study by the Productivity Commission found that problem gamblers account for 40 per cent of losses on poker machines,
(v) suicide rates among problem gamblers are twice the rate of other addictions, and
(vi) problem gamblers are far more vulnerable to depression, relationships breakdown, job loss, lowered work productivity, bankruptcy and crime;
(b) acknowledges that:
(i) poker machines have caused a significant degree of social and economic dislocation in the community, and
(ii) the regulation of poker machines is a litmus test of good government; and
(c) calls on the Government to support states in phasing out poker machines in pubs, because the fewer poker machines, the better.
The government has acknowledged the harm caused by gambling addiction in Australia. The regulation of poker machines is a matter for state governments. The Australian government has committed to the implementation of venue based voluntary precommitment outlined in the Gambling Measures Act 2012. This is identified by the Productivity Commission as the most targeted and potentially effective measure to tackle this problem.