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Submission to Federal online gambling inquiry

Call for a comprehensive national approach to gambling.
Australia is blind to its gambling addiction, governments are complicit

11 Nov 2022

The Alliance for Gambling Reform has called for a comprehensive national approach to combat gambling harm in Australia with losses at world-record levels, devastating families and communities and facilitating organised crime, fraud and money laundering. 

In its submission to the Federal online gambling inquiry, the Alliance for Gambling Reform said the lack of effective regulation of gambling promotions, inducements, advertising and sponsorships has enabled Australian culture to be undermined by an industry encouraging and profiting from harmful gambling.

The CEO of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Carol Bennett, said the ripples of gambling losses impact individuals, families, workplaces, communities and our justice and health systems. The costs are enormous.

“Australia is blind to its addiction to gambling despite the hard reality that Australians lose much more per capita to gambling than any other country in the world,” she said. 

“For too long governments and community leaders have been happy to turn a blind eye to gambling harm, buying the gambling industry line that gambling only impacts a small minority of people who should be more responsible for their own actions.”

The submission calls for a coordinated, national response to gambling including: 

  • Establishing an independent, adequately funded national gambling regulator and online gambling ombudsman

  • Ban on the broadcasting of gambling advertisements

  • A national action plan addressing gambling related harm through a public health approach similar to tobacco and alcohol

  • A national gambling forum of State and Territory and Federal Ministers responsible for gambling regulation.

The Alliance has further called for the introduction of a mandatory pre-commitment scheme for online gambling services with binding and practical default limits which can only be increased with proof of income.

The submission also outlines initiatives to better educate the public on the harms of gambling, increase treatment services for people experiencing gambling harm and boosting independent research into gambling harm. The Alliance’s full submission to the Federal Enquiry is on our website here.

The Alliance is a national advocacy organisation which works to prevent and minimise the harm from gambling. Our aim is to remove the shame that surrounds gambling addiction, have the problem treated as a public health issue, and achieve the legislative changes needed to protect our communities. We bring together well over 60 organisations who share the objectives of preventing harm from gambling. 

Media contact: Martin Thomas – 0477 340 704

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