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Abbott to rescind gambling reforms

This week saw federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott predicting a Coalition government will “rescind” any mandatory pre-commitment scheme introduced to deal with problem gambling. 

Mr Abbott’s solution seems to be to encourage the clubs and pubs as they fleece Australia’s poorest and most vulnerable families of their hard earned cash, while offering “more counselling” to punters who get burned and need to talk to someone about their ruined lives.

Perhaps if Mr Abbott and fellow Liberals spent less time courting the clubs, and more time talking to real people affected by gambling addiction, and those who pick up the pieces after the pokies have done their worst, he would have something sensible to say.

As it is, this week’s empty threat by Mr Abbott to rescind an ethically sound and progressive policy on poker machines merely leaves him looking silly, doing nothing, and in the pocket of the self-serving and money-grabbing clubs.  Hardly a place from which to take a punt at the nation’s top job.

Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 30 October 2011.

Categories: gambling poverty public policy

Rod Benson

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