Welcome to September
There is usually a lull in Canberra over the winter break from parliament, but for those of us working towards gambling reform, this has been a very busy period. The Federal Parliament is now focusing on gambling reform, especially in the wake of the federal inquiry into online gambling and its impact on those experiencing gambling harm. Change is on the way.
Tim and I had the opportunity to meet with the Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese to discuss the reforms and the Alliance’s views on the government’s response to the inquiry report. We have also met with the Leader of the Federal Opposition, Peter Dutton; Office of the Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland; Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth; federal crossbench MPs and Greens Senator Janet Rice to discuss the way forward on online gambling.
While online gambling is the main issue in Federal Parliament, maintaining relationships with key state politicians and decision-making bodies to advocate for important reforms for land-based gambling is still a priority. We are actively involved in consultations with numerous calls for submissions on key reforms from a cashless card in the ACT to responsible codes of conduct and poker machine reforms in Victoria.
The good news is that we finally saw the long-awaited launch of BetStop, the national self-exclusion register! We are hopeful that this will provide much needed reprieve for those wanting to remove themselves from betting sites and the constant bombardment of advertising and marketing from the gambling industry. Having signed up myself, I can say it seemed a straightforward process and it seems to work given I cannot open new accounts, but of course the Alliance would like to hear from anyone who has any problems with the system. Ironing out any gremlins will be important to ensuring it works for those who most need it to.
There has been continued private members bills to parliaments on key gambling reform from bans on credit to advertising to bans on political donations – it’s a time of unprecedented representation in parliaments around the country on gambling reform.
Excitement about what all this activity means does come with some caveats – we still see continued record losses around the country from poker machines. And we know that online gambling is catching up at a rapid pace.
We now need to capture this moment and ensure that the words match the actions and result in real reductions in gambling harm.
Welcome to our JUNE NEWSLETTER
The Alliance for Gambling Reform is making a difference. We have seen real progress in gambling reform thanks to the tireless work and support of a growing movement for change. The last few weeks alone has seen:
three private members bills tabled in federal parliament to ban gambling ads
significant fines imposed on Crown Casino (to date now around $750m in total!)
a decision by the NT government not to grant 20 additional poker machine licenses in Alice Springs with community campaigning at an all-time high
a focus on the role of sporting codes in promoting gambling
calls for strengthened privacy legislation to protect our kids from gambling companies collecting their data (and we join in a Digital Rights Watch campaign)
several motions from Councils adopted at the Australian Local Government Association conference to reduce gambling harm
a campaign by local MLA Marisa Paterson in Canberra to make a new development ‘pokies free’
And then the Guardian banned all forms of gambling advertising globally – which meant not taking an estimated millions of dollars in advertising revenue!
Welcome to our FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER
Our first newsletter of the year highlights what has been an eventful start to the year, especially in the lead up to the NSW state election. Gambling is a key election issue, and we have seen more meaningful debate and commitment to gambling reform in the space of a month than would usually occur over a year!
We have seen Premier Perrottet commit to cashless gambling, albeit with limitations including the timeframes too long and default limits not enforced. Opposition leader Chris Minns is maintaining his commitment to another limited trial of cashless gambling in some pubs and clubs. Greens and some key independents have committed to cashless gambling.
Welcome to our MAY NEWSLETTER
Our joint symposium Tackling Gambling Harm in Australia, co-hosted with the Public Health Association of Australia, was held on Monday 1 May in Adelaide. It was a pre-preventive health conference event and provided an excellent opportunity to partner with the health sector to bring together more than 100 people to hear from Australia’s leading experts in gambling harm. The symposium provided a focus on finding solutions to address the harm that can and does arise from gambling. The need for gambling harm to be a recognised public health issue underpinned by a national strategy and real investment in prevention, treatment, support and research was a key outcome.
Important and overdue reform including a ban on gambling advertising was given high priority by participants at the symposium. Its high on the Alliance’s list of priorities too. A huge thank you to those who are making a regular donation of $10 a month to support our End Gambling Ads Campaign! As the Alliance does not receive state or federal government funding, this support is invaluable in enabling us to do our policy and advocacy work.
Welcome to our DECEMBER NEWSLETTER
What an amazing year 2022 has been for the Alliance for Gambling Reform!
The Alliance was pleased to be one of the first witnesses called to give evidence (following our submission) to the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs Committee national Inquiry into online gambling and its impact on those experiencing gambling harm in early December.
Welcome to our MARCH NEWSLETTER
There is so much potential for gambling reform on so many fronts and featuring highly on both State and Commonwealth agendas. The chorus of voices calling for our political leaders to step up and do something to remove the hold that gambling has over every aspect of our lives from our sport to advertising, online to our phones – we are saturated in availability of gambling products at every turn.