Urgent national action critical to combat gambling harm
2 May 2023
There is an urgent and critical need for Federal, State and Territory Governments to take urgent and critical action to combat gambling harm in Australia which is a hidden epidemic, a major symposium on gambling harm has heard.
The gambling epidemic in Australia costs individuals, families, and communities more than $25 billion annually – the highest per capita in the world. The symposium organisers, the Alliance for Gambling Reform and the Public Health Association of Australia, today released a communique that highlights government failings and calls for urgent action.
“Rather than tackling gambling harms, governments across Australia consistently fail to take action. Gambling is a harmful product, but unlike alcohol or tobacco, there is no national strategy to limit its use, nor funding to better understand and reduce its impact in our communities,” the communique said.
“We call on the Commonwealth, State, and Territory governments to take urgent action to create a comprehensive national strategy to address gambling related harm.”
The communique calls on the Federal Government to create a unit within the Department of Health and Aged Care to address gambling harm and to establish a new, properly resourced national regulator to combat gambling harm.
It also calls for the implementation 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 communique calls on States and Territories to introduce a mandatory cashless gambling card.
Read the communique here.
Media contact: Martin Thomas – 0477 340 704