Wilkie’s pokie breakthrough

By Rod Benson

In the political turmoil that is still unfolding in the wake of the recent federal election, with talk of deals and demands, and winners and losers, let’s not lose sight of the significant reform proposal to overhaul poker machine gambling put forward by Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie.

One of the priorities listed by Mr Wilkie, in discussions with Labor and the Coalition, was the introduction of uniform “pre-commitment” smart card technology that would enable gamblers to set their overall maximum spend before starting a session.

Mr Wilkie said he hoped the harm-minimization technology would prove more effective than simply setting the maximum bet at one dollar, and would help to “reign in problem gambling.”

He says he has a written guarantee from the Prime Minister that she will ask state governments to adjust their gaming laws accordingly.  Let’s hope she does, and let’s hope the states can be convinced to act for the common good.

Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 5 September 2010.  Image: http://bit.ly/axBNKr

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