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Latest Media Release

Crown reprieve must be ‘last chance saloon’

Bolstered regulation and big fines have helped protect casino consumers and reduce gambling harm

26 March 2024

The operators of Melbourne’s Crown Casino are now ‘on notice’ that there must not be any further breach of its licence, after it received another reprieve by the State’s casino regulator.

 

The chief executive of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Carol Bennett, said Crown should make no mistake that it is ‘the last chance saloon’ for them to get their operations right and to protect consumers.

“We acknowledge that the State Government and the VGCCC has acted to protect consumers from the significant harm identified by the Royal Commission. They have improved lax regulation and been prepared to impose fines of hundreds of millions as appropriate to the breach of Crowns license,” Ms Bennett said. >>READ MORE

Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commision - Media Release 26 March 2024: Crown Melbourne Suitability Decision and Decision and Reasons for Decision

‘Commercial sensitivities’ bizarrely stop Fed. Govt. reporting on gambling harm efforts

13 March 2024

Gambling harm is a major public health issue in Australia and yet is beggars belief that the Federal Government doesn’t report on its expenditure to tackle gambling harm due to “commercial sensitivities”.

 

The CEO of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Carol Bennett, said the bizarre situation demonstrated the power of the gambling industry and how it has captured government.

 

“We know investment into preventing and reducing gambling harm at a federal level is grossly lacking, but the lack of transparency on just how little the government invests in this critical public health issue is both disturbing and farcical,” Ms Bennett said.

“The Federal Government is investing $737 million to fund various measures to protect Australians against the harm caused by tobacco and vaping products, there is an extremely strong argument that the same level of expenditure should be urgently devoted to reducing gambling harm.” >>READ MORE

Alliance in the news

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Win for Crown Resorts as its Melbourne casino keeps state licence

The Age - 26 March 2024

Alliance for Gambling Reform chief executive Carol Bennett said while Crown’s transformation plan had been a step forward, the entire gambling sector should be subject to tougher rules, such as cashless gaming.

 

What we are seeking is that the standards that now apply to Crown will also apply to pubs and clubs across Victoria,” Bennett said.

“If that doesn’t happen, the problems we saw at Crown will shift into the community. We’re creating an uneven playing field.”

READ MORE

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Calls grow for poker machine reforms after gambler takes own life

The Canberra Times - 19 March 2024

Canberra has the weakest regulation of any Australian state or territory, said Carol Bennett, who leads the Alliance for Gambling Reform.

It, alone of Australian jurisdictions, does not have all machines linked to each other in a network so that a gambler can't switch venues or machines to get round limits on spending.

Tasmania has just introduced such a pre-paid card system. It's also networked its machines so the system as a whole knows how much a gambler spends in a day - the system can monitor spending by each gambler. READ MORE

NT gambling laws ‘holding the country to ransom’

NTnews - 24 February 2024

The Northern Territory Government is rushing through weak, “watered down” regulations to sidestep the Federal Government’s expected response to a scathing report into online gambling. Alliance CEO Carol Bennett accused the Territory Government of being “drunk on gambling revenue”, with the new bill failing to address major flaws in online gambling regulations. “You need a regulator that has teeth and has the capacity to do the job properly — and that isn’t the Northern Territory.” She said. READ MORE

FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER
 

It is now eight months on from when Peta Murphy delivered her multiparty inquiry report into online gambling and we are still awaiting a response from the Federal government to the 31 unanimous recommendations.  We remain hopeful that Peta’s parliamentary committee together with a large contingent of gambling reformers will be heard, with a full and comprehensive ban on gambling advertising among many other important reforms that have been neglected and are long overdue... READ MORE

On 28 November 2023.  Alliance Chief Advocate Tim Costello and CEO Carol Bennett joined Zoe Daniel, Kate Chaney MP and mum Cecelia Aull and her daughter Annabelle at a press conference at Australian Parliament House in Canberra calling on the federal government to ban gambling ads. Will the Anthony Albanese government have the resolve to stare down the gambling industry and other vested interests to act in the best interest of the public?’

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The Alliance as CEO Carol Bennett and Chief Advocate Tim Costello met with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to discuss gambling harm in Australia.

Excellent meetings on Monday 8 August between Alliance CEO Carol Bennett and Chief Advocate Tim Costello and Rebekha Sharkie MP, Kate Chaney MP, Zoe Daniel, and David Pocock at Parliament House, Canberra. Great to see such support for gambling reform from our independents!

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You win some, you lose more – online gambling and its impacts on those experiencing gambling harm.

The Alliance’s response to the recommendations

The Alliance welcomes the long-awaited work of the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs Report of the inquiry into online gambling and its impacts on those experiencing gambling harm.

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The Alliance for Gambling Reform (The Alliance) has been concerned about the impact of gambling-like features in both computer games and phone apps for many years. It is not only one element of Australian children being groomed to become gamblers, but it is also being impacted by harm very similar and on-par with gambling harm due to loot boxes. There are a number of useful studies as well as international case studies that provide the Australian Government with the evidence it needs to go further when it comes to classifications of video games, and the Alliance would strongly urge the government to ensure this legislation includes phone apps. READ MORE

TAKE ACTION

City Lights

END GAMBLING HARM AFTER DARK

The risk of gambling harm from poker machines increases after dark. We know that the high levels of harm being experienced by people in the late hours of the night and early hours of the morning are avoidable. 
Click here to learn more and take action

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CALLING FOR AN END TO GAMBLING ADS

It's time to kick gambling ads out of sport!
Sign the petition and find out more about how you can stand with us to end gambling ads here!

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INQUIRY INTO ONLINE GAMBLING AND ITS IMPACTS ON THOSE EXPERIENCING GAMBLING HARM

nline gambling participation has increased exponentially over the past few years and the true extent of its impacts and reach are still being fully understood. However, the evidence available shows significant gambling harm being experienced online by young people and vulnerable community groups with a significant increase in online wagering companies profits over the past few years. Click here to learn more and take action

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We're an independent, not-for-profit and proudly rely on our supporters, not the gambling industry!
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Rev Tim Costello
Chief Advocate

Some of our largest companies and investment funds have a vested interest in poker machine gambling. Governments want few restraints given that $5.5 billion flow into their coffers every year. This is a difficult problem to unlock. Many Australians have a stake in the future of the gambling industry through their superannuation, equity investments and participation in clubs and pubs.

Over the past twenty years this is an industry that has been unleashed on Australia, without reasonable regulatory controls or even a genuine community conversation.

Latest News

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This community club took extreme measures to kill off its pokies

The Age

6 Apr 2024

“The Hastings Club is reacting to state regulations that limit its capacity to meet increased liabilities at a time when returns from gambling are diminishing,” said the Alliance for Gambling Reform chief executive Carol Bennett.

“The government should be providing clubs every opportunity to surrender poker machine entitlements for the benefit of the community, but this is unlikely given the parlous budgetary situation in Victoria,” she said.

“A government focussed on reducing gambling harm would strive to reduce overall pokies entitlements altogether. Revenue from gambling should not be propping up the Victorian budget.”

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'Dud' policy or 'absolutely essential'? Battlelines drawn over the best ways to reduce gambling harm

Riotact

2 Apr 2024

Alliance for Gambling Reform CEO Carol Bennett asked why the two had to be mutually exclusive.

“Why wouldn’t we aim for both?” she asked.

ACTCOSS CEO Devin Bowles added: “Having a system that encompasses the whole jurisdiction is absolutely essential if we want to minimise gambling harms.”

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NSW Netball Teams Back Gambling Ad Ban

B&T

5 Apr 2024

The mistake raised calls for gambling advertising reform with the ground-based ads engraining gambling practice within the sport itself. According to the Alliance For Gambling Reform, three in every four kids believe that gambling is a normal part of sports, and anyone 12 or younger has never watched a sporting game without bearing witness to gambling advertising of some capacity.

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Have your say on whether $8m pokie-free Warringah Golf Club House should be able to serve alcohol

The Daily Telegraph

2 Apr 2024

Outspoken anti-poker machine campaigner and supporter of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Pat Daley, praised the club for going pokie-free.

Mr Daley, who pushed for gambling reforms while a councillor with Northern Beaches and Warringah councils, said it th golf club was seen as a “real example of what can be done” as NSW moves towards a reduction in macines and tougher poker machine policies.

“The proposed new club has wide support in the local community”.

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“An Error Was Made In Round One”: Tabcorp Admits To Breaching Its Own Advertising Rules

Bandt

3 Apr 2024

The mistake has raised calls for gambling advertising reform with the ground-based ads engraining gambling practice within the sport itself. According to the Alliance For Gambling Reform, three in every four kids believe that gambling is a normal part of sports, and anyone 12 or younger has never watched a sporting game without bearing witness to gambling advertising of some capacity.

“I am now reluctant to allow my child to view the footy fixture online due to the ‘Bet Easy’ icon next to the game. I also feel annoyed and dismayed at the AFL that they have allowed a gambling company to infiltrate the game,” an anonymous source told the Alliance For Gambling Reform.

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‘We know the community is over it’: how self-regulation of gambling ads came unstuck minutes into an AFL game

The Guardian

1 Apr 2024

Tim Costello, the Chief Advocate for the Alliance for Gambling Reform, says the return of football has reminded many families of what they hate: “a tsunami of gambling and sports betting ads”. “Fans hate it,” Costello says. “Parents hate it. But the AFL is unmoved. Do gambling interests now completely own our game?”

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