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Election Survey - Commonwealth of Australia 2016 - Q6

Q6 - Gambling

Australia’s Productivity Commission found in 2010 that problem gambling – mostly by poker machine addicts – costs Australia nearly $5 billion per year.  One in six people who play the pokies regularly are addicted, and their addiction damages, on average, seven others.  The Productivity Commission made several recommendations to alleviate the problem, but the resulting legislation was so weak that there has been little or no improvement in the situation.

Would you vote to require $1 maximum bets per spin and a $120 maximum hourly loss on poker machines?

Party Reply Score

Family First

Probably. These proposals are specific and we can not commit to them without further research.  The biggest addict to gambling is governments.  Governments depend on revenue from problem gamblers, so they have no interest in helping them.  Put another way, governments raise taxes on gambling because they know gamblers are addicted, and will keep paying for the service no matter how high the tax rate is.  Governments exploit problem gamblers, and we need to find ways to reduce governments’ continual reliance on more tax, by bringing government spending under control.  We also want to pursue family-friendly policy across politics that provides job security and housing affordability, so that people have economic security at home and then are less inclined to gamble.


Australian Labor Party

Labor has no plans to introduce any changes to gambling regulation at a Commonwealth level. Labor will continue to work with with the States and Territories to minimise the harmful impacts of problem gambling.


Liberal Nationals Coalition

  The Turnbull Coalition Government recognises that, although most people gamble responsibly, gambling is a significant problem for some Australians and effective measures are required to assist.  Often the people most affected are those who can least afford it.

For this reason, the Coalition Government is providing $7.1 million in 2016-7 to fund the Commonwealth Financial Counsellors for Problem Gamblers Initiative which will allow specialised financial counsellors to continue operating for a further 12 months in 50 locations across Australia – to help people manage their addiction and the accompanying financial challenges while providing early intervention for people at risk of problem gambling.

The Coalition is also extending the cashless debit card trial to a third location, following trials in SA and WA.  Under the trial, welfare recipients are issue with a cashless debit card which cannot be used to buy alcohol, gambling products or to withdraw cash.

The Coalition Government recognises that gambling is a legitimate form of entertainment for many Australians.  Government action must be proportionate to the problem and not be done in ways that damage important community institutions such as clubs.

The Coalition does not support mandatory pre-commitment because it will not effectively tackle problem gambling.  However, the establishment of a national framework for online gambling will include standards for making voluntary pre-commitment limits available to all consumers and will consider elements such as visibility, transparency and periodic prompting, empowering consumers to reconsider their betting limits.  The framework will be developed in consultation with the States and Territories.


Rise Up Australia Party

Yes, definitely.


Christian Democratic Party

Yes, definitely.


Australian Christians

Yes, definitely.


Online Direct Democracy

No comment.


The Greens

Probably. There is an abundance of evidence that gambling – and pokies in particular – cause enormous harm in the community.  Because of the potential for harm cause by the high loss rate of Australian machines, the Greens will limit bet rates on all pokies to bring losses under control.



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