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Crossbench Push for Gambling Reform

Media conference: Wednesday July 27 at 1:30pm in the foyer outside the Old Chamber, Old Parliament House.

Legislative Council Crossbench Members have joined forces to reform gambling laws in South Australia and will today introduce the Statutes Amendment (Gaming Area Prohibitions and Barring Orders) Bill 2016 in parliament. The bill aims to minimise harm caused by problem gambling by removing EFTPOS facilities from gaming areas and by limiting gaming machine bets to a $1 maximum per bet.

The bill amends the Casino Act 1997, Gaming Machines Act 1992 and the Independent Gambling Authority Act 1995 by:

The bill is a collaboration between Family First, Dignity for Disability, the Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team, in conjunction with Associate Professor Michael O’Neil from the SA Centre of Economic Studies of the University of Adelaide.

Family First MLCs Robert Brokenshire and Dennis Hood said they are proud of the approach of the crossbench to address gambling reform in SA.

“The crossbench often doesn’t see eye to eye on issues but on this matter, we have been able to set aside any differences and work together for the benefit of South Australians, especially those who are affected by problem gambling and their families. We call on the Government and the Opposition to give full support to these changes,” Mr Brokenshire said.

Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent said no good ever came from easy access to ATMs in the vicinity of pokies.

“Dignity for Disability know that people with disabilities are overrepresented in problem gambling statistics and we want to see greater action taken by government to address this issue,” Ms Vincent said.

Nick Xenophon Team MLC John Darley said that on average, problem gamblers lose one third of the average Australian wage each year.

“To make it easier for these vulnerable people to access their money was a bad move and it is now time to rectify it. I have always opposed EFTPOS facilities in gaming venues and the government should take this opportunity to admit they made a mistake. We have known for a long time that the government needs to do more for problem gamblers – this is only a small step in the right direction,” Mr Darley said.

Greens MLC Tammy Franks described these reforms as “common sense”.

"Limiting machines to $1 bets as recommended by the Productivity Commission is a common sense reform that won’t affect most players, but will absolutely help problem gamblers limit their losses," Ms Franks said.

"Problem gambling leads to the obvious financial loss but can also have a devastating human toll, relationships and lives are lost. We should be doing all we can to support those who need help."

For further information contact: Robert Brokenshire on 0419 815 990 or 08 8237 9122 or Media Advisors Joanne Fosdike on 0488 550 454 or Anna Tree on 0419 252 254