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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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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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Labor urged to outlaw betting ‘rewards’ luring Australians into gambling

The Guardian

9 July 2024

The Alliance for Gambling Reform blamed weak advertising and consumer protection laws for the promotions it says are carefully designed to make customers believe they are placing “safer” bets and that a win is more likely.

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A third of Australian bets found to be placed by problem gamblers amid warning of ‘predatory’ industry

The Guardian

27 June 2024

Roy Morgan polling of 16,000 Australians found 15.5% had bet on sport in the 12 months to March. It also revealed problem gamblers made up almost 20% of some sports betting companies’ customer base. The results were released on Tuesday by the Alliance for Gambling Reform to mark the first anniversary of a major parliamentary report calling for a ban on online gambling ads and making other recommendations. The group’s Interim CEO, Martin Thomas said: “These are huge numbers and they highlight how a predatory online gambling industry is ensnaring a whole new generation into gambling.

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‘Wasted opportunity’: No recommendation on cashless gaming in ACT inquiry report

RiotACT

3 July 2024

Alliance for Gambling Reform chief advocate Tim Costello said there is no need for a trial.

“The evidence is overwhelming that cashless gaming works,” Reverend Costello said.

“The 1999 Productivity Commission report recommended the introduction of mandatory cashless cards.

“Canberra always boasts about how progressive it is, but it’s still dragging its feet for 25 years on cashless gaming.

“ACT and NSW Labor have $120 million of assets in pokies clubs. It’s the most obvious and horrible conflict.”

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A third of Australian bets found to be placed by problem gamblers amid warning of ‘predatory’ industry

The Guardian

25 June 2024

The polling implied 3.26 million Australians had made a sports wager in the year to March – more than double the 7% found to have bet between April 2019 and March 2020.

The results were released on Tuesday by the Alliance for Gambling Reform to mark the first anniversary of a major parliamentary report calling for a ban on online gambling ads and making other recommendations.

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Queensland LNP promises to increase pokies cap for clubs with more than two premises

ABC News

2 July 2024

n the 2022-23 financial year, Queenslanders lost more than more than $5 billion to gambling — of which about $3.2 billion was lost through poker machines.

Alliance for Gambling Reform interim chief executive Martin Thomas said his organisation was opposed to the proposal to increase the cap on gaming machines at clubs with multiple sites.

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1 In 3 Bets Placed by Aussies Last Year Were Made By Problem Gamblers, Grim New Data Shows

Pedestrian TV

25 June 2024

The findings were released by Alliance for Gambling Reform and come on the one-year anniversary of a parliamentary report which called for stronger regulations around online gambling advertising, among other recommendations. Martin Thomas, the Interim CEO of Alliance for Gambling Reform, described the numbers in the research as “huge”, saying they highlight a “predatory online gambling industry” that is “ensnaring a whole new generation into gambling.” Thomas pointed to the “inescapable torrent” gambling ads as having a “normalising” effect on betting, and said advertising is “grooming children and young people to gamble”.

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