This week saw the O’Farrell government throw its full support behind the powerful pubs and clubs lobby in its campaign to stop the federal government from introducing reforms to help problem gamblers.
Clubs Australia and the Australian Hotels Association have launched a $20 million advertising campaign opposing a mandatory pre-commitment scheme for poker machine betting, requiring gamblers to nominate how much they were prepared to lose.
Federal Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin has dismissed the ad campaign as “full of lies,” and accused the gaming industry of “defending a business model that was underpinned by human misery.”
The activist group GetUp, supported by churches, has launched its own campaign, claiming the Clubs Australia ads were “funded by gambling addicts.”
Meanwhile, thousands of people continue to pour their hard-earned cash into poker machines every day, impoverishing households, feeding addictions, and keeping misery merchants afloat. It’s un-Australian to allow this to continue unchallenged.
Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, Sunday 17 April 2011.
Theologian, researcher, teacher, writer, foodie, husband, dad. Works at Moore Theological College.