The Christian Medical and Dental Fellowship of Australia has expressed deep concern at the number of Australians with gambling problems. The effects of gambling addiction extend beyond the individual to their family, and include depression, relationship breakdown, bankruptcy, lowered productivity in the workplace, job loss, criminal behaviour, and suicide.
Dr Michael Burke, executive officer of the Fellowship, said “problem gambling is a serious public health issue that is damaging the lives of more and more Australians.”
He said doctors were regularly seeing the effects of problem gambling in the lives of their patients, and he welcomed the federal government’s commitment to tackle problem gambling by introducing pre-commitment technology for poker machines. He urged the government not to give in to lobbying by those who want to water down these reforms.
As the deadline for federal government action draws near, more and more Australians are supporting gambling reform, and scorning the clubs and hotels hell-bent on unethically extracting profits from those who can least afford it.
Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 20 November 2011.