Gambling

29 July 2019

Senator GRIFF (South Australia) (16:00): Before moving general business notice of motion No. 56, I wish to inform the chamber that Senators Waters and Lambie will also sponsor the motion. I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) this month marks the 25th anniversary since the introduction of poker machines in pubs and clubs in South Australia,

   (ii) despite numerous recommendations by the Commonwealth Productivity Commission (PC) and other inquiries, there has been no meaningful poker machine reform in terms of harm minimisation,

   (iii) according to the PC's 2010 report into gambling, 15% of regular poker machine players are so-called 'problem gamblers' with approximately 40-60% of spending on poker machines coming from 'problem gamblers',

   (iv) the PC's 2010 report highlighted the significant social cost of gambling–estimated at that time to be at least $4 billion,

   (v) despite having only 0.3% of the world's population, Australia reportedly has 6% of the world's conventional gaming machines and 18% of its poker machines, and

   (vi) Australians lose approximately $24 billion per year on gambling, a figure which is more than any other nation; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

   (i) recognise the ongoing harm gambling causes, which varies from emotional to financial costs, and commit to meaningful harm minimisation, and

   (ii) instruct the Commonwealth Productivity Commission to conduct a new inquiry to provide an updated perspective on gambling and propose relevant recommendations.

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