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Gambling Act review an opportunity


Gambling Act review an opportunity


A review of the Gambling Act provides a great opportunity for all politicians to work together to protect the public says the Problem Gambling Foundation.

"It is time for a co-operative approach to developing legislation which will protect the public from a parasitical gambling industry," says CEO, John Stansfield.

"Casinos and pokie bars are gutting our communities and provide an organising base for all sorts of criminals.

"The casinos and the pokie bars have been around for many years now. Local communities are sick of their antics and want action to protect them from further damage"

"Most politicians must understand that these people are not going to clean up their act voluntarily by now.

"We would like to see all parties getting in behind substantial reform of the gambling industry."

Mr Stansfield says the review of the Act opens the way to bring about major changes in areas that have recently been highlighted in the media.

"Just look at the problems we know about. Children being neglected while their parents play the pokies, money laundering and loan sharking at casinos, misuse of funds by people associated with pokie trusts, and crimes committed to pay gambling debts have all been in the news recently.

"These things are happening every day and we cannot put off doing anything about them indefinitely.

Mr Stansfield says that he was disappointed in the Minister of Internal Affairs failure to heed calls for an inquiry following recent revelations of loan sharking and money laundering at casinos but the review meant there was still a way of addressing community concerns.

He says there are ways of dealing with the problems that always accompany gambling and that organisations that have been mopping up after the industry have a lot to contribute to finding solutions.

He hopes politicians remain skeptical of gambling industry spin when looking at reform and says they need to listen to what people familiar with the problems had to say.

"First they have to get over any idea that this industry is ever going to deal with them honestly," he says.

"Then they should ask the public what they want.

"That would provide the basis for legislation that will work."

ends

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