Vic Govt must act on gambling harm blueprint - State’s $7.5b gambling losses are devastating communities
28 Nov 2023
The Victorian Government must immediately adopt all 61 recommendations of a parliamentary inquiry which has detailed a comprehensive blueprint to dramatically cut gambling harm across the State.
The Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) report, published today, details a raft of recommendations including the consideration of setting gambling loss limits, reducing the number of poker machines in the State and imposing greater restrictions on gambling advertising.
It highlighted that Victorians lost $7.5b in 2022-23 to gambling, rebounding strongly since losses fell due to the pandemic lockdown of recent years.
“The PAEC has created a blueprint for dramatically cutting gambling harm in Victoria. It has laid bare the extent of the problem and there is now no excuse for government inaction,” the Chief Executive of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Carol Bennett, said.
The Alliance applauded the entire report and all 61 recommendations which included:
Expanding support of programs that promote alternative recreational activities at night like Libraries After Dark
Working with Victoria’s Coroners Court to create a database on gambling related suicides
Reviewing the benefits of expanded poker machine room closure hours
Examining daily, weekly and annual gambling loss limits
Ms Bennett said it was telling that the committee also recommended restrictions to gambling advertising where this was possible in the Victorian jurisdiction.
“This report also has a message for the Federal Government which is currently contemplating a Federal parliamentary committee recommendation to ban all gambling advertising over a three year period. Gambling advertising is amplifying the terrible harm gambling is causing across our community.,” Ms Bennett said.
“The gambling industry does much to hide the damage its products cause the community, but the PAEC has stated a compelling case for greater government action to reduce the carnage that gambling is causing in our communities.”
“It is not just the financial losses, but gambling also has profound health and mental health impacts, it fuels family breakup and domestic violence and evidence suggests it could be the cause of up to 20% of all suicides in Australia.”
Carol Bennett is available for interview.
Media contact: Martin Thomas – 0477 340 704