Friday, 2 April 2010

PokieWatch.org Is Two Years Old

Despite the lack of significant accomplishment, amazingly, I am still to convince pokie pub and club operators to at least keep children away from the sights and sounds of gambling inside their venues if not keep children out all together. This continues to be a failure.

There have been some mini steps in the right direction:
  • The joint statement of the federal and all state ministers that it was a principle of "the conduct of responsible gaming machine activity in clubs and hotels" that children should not "be exposed to gambling areas within venues."
  • Wesfarmers agreeing to implement the national principle regarding and restraining children being exposed to to the sights and sounds of gambling within their venues
  • The Draft Report of the Productivity Commission and its key recommendation of the $1 button push / $120 per hour loss limit / $20 cash acceptor maximum.
Outside of the continued effort regarding children, the most important initiative was to commission and then present Professor Kevin Harrigan's report to the Productivity Commission. This report sets out a simple solution that targets gamlers with the goal of reducing their consequent harm from pokie gambling. Implementing these solutions will have little affect upon recreational gamblers. They will be able to enjoy the existing features of pokie gambling.

The detail of the report is concerned about putting into action the Productivity Commission's key recommendation of the $1 button push / $120 per hour loss limit / $20 cash acceptor maximum. The report's focus is on the $120 per hour loss limit. Professor Harrigan has written the report in easy-to-understand English.

Please click here to read Professor Harrigan's report

The information is that these changes that will do so much good to reduce problem pokie gambling can be, at worst, implemented by software modification. At best, controls already exist within the pokie machine to simply dial down the volatility and the harm.

Some of these controls operate through a centralised computer that already directs simultaneous action across thousands of machines every minute.

It would take a matter of hours to implement. That's how close Australia could be to significantly reducing the harm of pokie gambling.

Hours....

Think about it....

Hours....

If only our regulators had the will.

1 comment:

Paula Miani, Mildura Resident. said...

HI Paul, I had the pleasure of meeting you on Tuesday evening at the close of the Sunraysia Against Casino - Say No to the Mildura Casino Meeting. Thanks for making your vast knowledge available to us. I just wanted to say you are doing a great job. And keep going, If there is a law stating that children must not be exposed to gambling - then we need to make these venues accountable for breaking the law. They should be heavily fined. The restaurants that are attached to the gaming venues should have no bingo tvs or anything else on view. I agree, they are trying to desensitize children and make it a legitimate form of money making. The gov't may be able to claim legitimacy in the form of GST but these clubs cross the line when these sparkly machines and Tvs are in full view of children. They cannot even claim that its the parents responsibility to shield the children, if these places are not child friendly then kids should not be able to be admitted at all.