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ACT carded gambling a gamechanger to cut gambling harm

27 Mar 2024

The introduction of a mandatory pre-commitment carded gambling system in the ACT would be groundbreaking in reducing gambling harm and placing some limit on the predatory behaviour of a gambling industry that has cost Territorian’s more than $1.2 billion in losses over the last decade.


The chief executive of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Carol Bennett, said the ACT suffered staggering gambling losses which continued to spiral.


“For a small jurisdiction of under 500,000 people, gambling losses in the ACT are both staggering and tragic. Some $188m in losses were  suffered in the last year – equating to an eye-watering $16m every month,” Ms Bennett said.
“These losses are mirrored by social damage on an industrial scale, leading to financial hardship, family violence and breakdown, health and mental health issues including suicide.


The Alliance today presented to the ACT’s Parliamentary inquiry that is examining the potential introduction of a cashless gambling system into the Territory.


“The Alliance is firmly of the view that cashless gambling is not an end in itself. However, collecting more sophisticated data about individual gamblers linked to an individualised mandatory cashless gambling card with important features including binding and default limits, provides the opportunity to significantly reduce gambling harm,” Ms Bennett said. 
“There has been an avalanche of evidence on how a mandatory, pre-commitment cashless card can work incredibly well to reduce gambling harm and disrupt organised crime and money laundering.”


Ms Bennett said in 2022 the NSW Crime Commission Report recommended the NSW Government implement a mandatory, pre-commitment cashless cared that was considered the ‘gold standard’ of gambling reform.


“In NSW, the Minns government has been reluctant to adopt a cashless card, instead opting to kick the can down the road with the strong support of an industry not wanting scrutiny and accountability that will undoubtedly impact their bottom line,” Ms Bennett said.
“This is the risk for the ACT – not adopting the reform measures that will address gambling harm, choosing instead to pander to an industry intent on maintaining lax regulation that enables it to generate enormous profit from gambling losses.”

Carol Bennett is available for interview.

Media contact: Martin Thomas – 0477 340 704

Staggering $1.2b lost by Territorians over last decade

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