Parliamentary Friends of
Reducing Gambling Harm
On Wednesday 22 March 2023 the First meeting of the Parliamentary Friends of Gambling Harm Reduction for the 47th Parliament was held at Parliament House, Canberra. The friends' group is co-chaired by Andrew Wilkie MP and Rebekha Sharkie MP. Members consist of members and senators from across the political spectrum and all members and senators were invited to attend the meeting.
The Alliance provided input to the program which focussed on online gambling and included presentations from Carol Bennett, CEO Alliance for Gambling Reform - overview of the impact of gambling in Australia (including online gambling); Gavin Fineff on companies targeting losers – a personal experience (presented by his mum Lyn) and Harry who presented a younger person’s experience of online gambling.
Members of Parliamentary Friends of Gambling Harm Reduction list go here.
Harry's Father, Rebekha Sharkie MP, Harry, Carol Bennett - Alliance for Gambling Reform CEO, Kate Seselja - Alliance for Gambling Reform Voice for Gambling Reform Manager and Andrew Wilkie MP.
Carol Bennett, CEO Alliance for Gambling Reform's speech to Parliamentary Friends Group
Australia is blind to its addiction to gambling even though Australians are the biggest losers in the world when it comes to gambling per capita - 40% higher than any other country on poker machines and a conservative estimate of 20% ahead of any other country in the world in online gambling. Based on very conservative extrapolations from the UK, at least 432,000 Australian children under 16 are already gambling.
We don’t like to admit it, but the impact of gambling is borne by many individuals, families, workplaces, communities, our justice systems, hospitals, schools, our safety, productivity and wellbeing. Harm from gambling includes relationship difficulties (links to family violence), health problems (depression, anxiety), emotional and psychological distress, individual/family financial problems, issues with work or study, cultural problems and criminal activity and unfortunately also gambling-related death by suicide...Read More
Letter from Gavin Fineff for the Parliamentary Friends Group meeting.
...I think it’s important to raise, that it is the customers with Gambling Disorder that generates the majority of revenue for operators and Government. The industry has taken advantage of the profit taking opportunity and appreciated the ‘poor eyesight’ of regulators. The evidence I have of both failures is described to me as shocking and jaw dropping …… to me,
it is just sad. I should have been stopped, and it would have been so easy. Why wasn’t I stopped? Why was I given millions of dollars of free bets? Why were the red flags and monitoring alerts ignored? What needs to happen so the next me is stopped, because I
promise you, he, or she, in their minds is fixing a problem, not making one far worse?...Read More
...I got my first bookmaker when I turned 18. The first ever deposit I did was 100% matched in bonus bets. It started out spending 20 dollars here 20 dollars there with a few wins and losses.
Within a month or so I was spending more then I could afford. I knew I was getting hooked early on but I didn’t know just how bad I was going to get. The more I spent the more I was looked after buy these online bookmakers. Before long I was spending everything I was getting paid. Most weeks id get paid at 6pm Friday and it would be gone by Friday night...Read More