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OPINION PIECES

Does anyone have a chance in a race against big gambling?

Does anyone have a chance in a race against big gambling?

Is Australia's political system corrupt?

Can money and power buy the outcomes it wants and do our political leaders yield to their influence if it aligns with their own personal interests or the interests of their party?

21 Feb 2024

Rev Tim Costello
Gambling reform in Tasmania is too important not have bipartisan support

Gambling reform in Tasmania is too important not have bipartisan support

If Tasmania successfully progresses with its plans to introduce a cashless pokies card, it will represent a 'gold standard' in reducing gambling harm.

17 Feb 2024

Rev Tim Costello
Online gambling does great harm. Why is government rolling the dice with public health?

Online gambling does great harm. Why is government rolling the dice with public health?

When is a parliamentary inquiry not a real parliamentary inquiry? When the minister responsible decides to hold a series of private meetings, behind closed doors, with organisations that have a vested interest in the outcome – many of which didn’t bother to put in a submission to the public inquiry.

11 Jan 2024

Rev Tim Costello, Chief advocate for the Alliance for Gambling Reform
Money talks: How the gambling industry imposes untold misery on our nation

Money talks: How the gambling industry imposes untold misery on our nation

It’s time for the not-for-profit sector to step up and champion the need for gambling reform, writes the chief advocate of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Tim Costello.

Australia has a dire need for the philanthropic sector to fund efforts to curb gambling harm in Australia.

The need is critical because of the catastrophic failure of government to protect our community from the impact of gambling.

Australians lose more to gambling – $24 billion annually – per capita than any other country on the planet.

15 Nov 2023

Rev Tim Costello
A bad bet: super funds gambling stocks reflect our national blind spot

A bad bet: super funds gambling stocks reflect our national blind spot

Australia has a very big blind spot when it comes to gambling and the immense harm it causes in the community.

Gambling harm is not treated as a public health issue like other ‘harmful, legal’ products such as tobacco or alcohol. There is little or no government funding of research or public education to better understand just how harmful gambling can be.

Of course, it is not a natural blind spot; it is one that has been carefully curated and bankrolled by the billion-dollar gambling industry.

It is an industry that outspends virtually all others when it comes to advertising, with over a million gambling advertisements broadcast on free-to-air television and on radio alone in the 12 months to April 2023.

9 Nov 2023

Carol Bennett
The gambling industry gets a ringside seat at the University of Sydney research centre

The gambling industry gets a ringside seat at the University of Sydney research centre

This week Sydney University announced it has established a centre for excellence in gambling research. This centre is substantially funded by the International Center (sic) for Responsible Gaming, as well as Entain Australia and Sportsbet.

Entain Australia and Sportsbet are subsidiaries of international gambling operators, and run major online bookmaking businesses in Australia, as well as other global operations.

18 Oct 2023

Rev Tim Costello
Strong links between gambling and suicide need to be considered in reform

Strong links between gambling and suicide need to be considered in reform

New research undertaken by Federation University in collaboration with the Coroners Court of Victoria, examined the Victorian Suicide Register which revealed at least 184 suicides were directly related to gambling. There were another 17 gambling-attributed suicides by "affected others" such as family members.

20 Sept 2023

Carol Bennett
The ACT needs to go all in on cashless gambling now

The ACT needs to go all in on cashless gambling now

The ACT should be among the first jurisdictions in Australia to introduce significant gambling reform in the shape of a mandatory cashless gambling card.

The move would be groundbreaking, representing a major blow to a predatory gambling industry that costs Australians more than $27 billion in losses every year - more per capita than any other country on the planet.

31 Aug 2023

Rev Tim Costello
Labor must do the right thing by fully committing to a cashless gambling card

Labor must do the right thing by fully committing to a cashless gambling card

Australia is approaching a tipping point on gambling reform. After decades of inaction, that has allowed Australian’s to be fleeced of $26 billion a year in gambling losses, there is now a chance of real reform. 

And while there are several fronts where the war on gambling is being fought across Australia, Tasmania is at the forefront of the battle.  

9 Aug 2023

Rev Tim Costello
After 25 years of losing, I’ve just had a win on the pokies

After 25 years of losing, I’ve just had a win on the pokies

Anti-gambling campaigner Tim Costello is full of praise for Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews' recently announced pokies reforms. Now he wants other leaders to follow suit.

Two weeks ago, Victorian Premier Dan Andrews announced sweeping reforms for pokies. For me, after 25 years of campaigning, it was the beginning of the end of a state government protection racket for a predatory industry that has caused so much harm to Victorians. Congratulations, Dan.

1 Aug 2023

REV TIM COSTELLO
I lost everything to online gambling. A national self-exclusion register might save others

I lost everything to online gambling. A national self-exclusion register might save others

I have been waiting for this day; waiting for almost five years for the federal government’s national gambling self-exclusion register, BetStop, to be open for business.

10 July 2023

Anonymous Voices for Gambling Reform
Gambling and tobacco a tale of two ‘poisons’. The lessons we must learn to tame ‘big gambling’

Gambling and tobacco a tale of two ‘poisons’. The lessons we must learn to tame ‘big gambling’

Gambling is normalised and celebrated which has led to the highest levels of gambling losses per capita in the world – 40 per cent higher for poker machines and 20 per cent higher for online gambling – well ahead of any other country.

I have not met a parent who is not horrified by the rampant use of vaping among our young people.

23 June 2023

Rev Tim Costello
Labor's gambling ties holding back proper reform

Labor's gambling ties holding back proper reform

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton was right to put gambling, and more particularly sports gambling advertising, in the national spotlight in his budget reply speech to Parliament last week.
With Australians losing $25 billion to gambling every year - more than any other country - it is an issue that has profound financial, societal and health impacts for the country.

17 May 2023

Carol Bennett
Treatment and support services for gambling harm

Treatment and support services for gambling harm

For someone who is experiencing gambling harm, either due to their own gambling or someone else’s gambling, finding a quality service is often difficult.

People with lived experience regularly tell us they struggle to find independent and quality information about what is on offer and the likely outcomes of any referral.

8 May 2023

Carol Bennett, CEO
Albanese government federal budget must address gambling reform

Albanese government federal budget must address gambling reform

Gambling losses in Australia amount to a staggering $25 billion annually - losses that, per capita, are greater than anywhere else in the world and 40 per cent greater than the next biggest losing country.

12 Apr 2023

Carol Bennett, AGR CEO
After the New South Wales election, some expert advice for the new Government

After the New South Wales election, some expert advice for the new Government

"At the very least, given the results in this election, we expect the cashless gambling card will continue to be strongly pushed in both the lower and upper houses of the NSW Parliament." said Alliance CEO Carol Bennett in Crikey.

30 Mar 2023

Carol Bennett, AGR CEO
People need protection from gaming excesses

People need protection from gaming excesses

Joe Aston has laid bare the hypocrisy and delusion of the leaders of our rapidly growing gambling sector (“Sportsbet CEO Barni Evans is kidding himself”, Rear Window, March 23). It should surprise nobody that the CEO of a foreign-owned online gambling company is seen to put profits before the welfare of Australians.

24 Mar 2023

Carol Bennett, AGR CEO
On the gambling industry’s political gift-giving, the proof is in the pudding

On the gambling industry’s political gift-giving, the proof is in the pudding

As a society and as a health sector we were far too naïve, far too trusting and far too late in realising and then challenging the lies of big tobacco.

Tobacco executives repeatedly lied and buried their own research that showed how addictive and harmful their products are – all for the sake of making profits.

Thankfully today government regulations strictly limits tobacco availability and promotion to reduce the harm it causes our health, our lives and the wider economy. Of course the industry is still seeking to exploit any avenues it can in the quest for profit and vaping has become the new frontier with a new generation of young people the new target.

8 Mar 2023

Carol Bennett, AGR CEO
Gambling is the new tobacco, it's time we took urgent action

Gambling is the new tobacco, it's time we took urgent action

In 1994, the executives of seven of the world’s largest tobacco companies appeared before the US Congress and infamously declared that nicotine was not addictive. History subsequently shows they were lying, their own research revealed how addictive tobacco was but they buried the findings.

Today government regulations strictly limits tobacco availability and promotion to reduce the harm it causes our health, our lives and the wider economy. Ironically, this is far from the case when it comes to another profound ‘public harm’, gambling.

1 Mar 2023

By Carol Bennett
Perrottet has rolled the dice. Now Minns must up the ante

Perrottet has rolled the dice. Now Minns must up the ante

I have had the tragic duty of presiding over the funerals of six people who have committed suicide due to their gambling. Their losses, their shame, their losing battle to stop gambling – all became too much. The pain suffered by family and friends is indescribable. The loss of life is so senseless and horrific. It is why I have been such a prominent campaigner for gambling reform for more than three decades.

6 Feb 2023

Rev Tim Costello
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