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Media releases

No second casino for Sydney, say churches

4 March 2012

The President of the NSW Council of Churches, Revd Dr Ross Clifford, has commended NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell on his measured approach to pressure for a second casino license for Sydney, and reiterated a call for an inquiry into the social implications of gambling in NSW.

“The O’Farrell Government should follow due process and maintain its commitment to a one casino policy for Sydney. It is not in the public interest for a second casino to be developed on the Barangaroo site, and allowing multiple campuses of Star Casino would undermine the intent of the one casino policy,” Dr Clifford said.

“The NSW Council of Churches has called for a wide-ranging state inquiry to examine the social impact of poker machines, telephone betting and online betting. NSW has around 50 per cent of the nation’s poker machines, and more problem gamblers than any other state. NSW also has a stable government, strong political voices representing healthy and informed discussion, and the numbers needed to achieve historic gambling reform,” Dr Clifford said.

“Suggestions of a second casino for Sydney, together with the state of debate on national poker machine reform, indicate a pressing need to take action to address gambling-related issues.”

The NSW Council of Churches supports mandatory pre-commitment technology and a $1 maximum bet limit for poker machines. The Salvation Army (Eastern Territory), a member of the Council, supports these reforms conditional upon pilot testing of mandatory pre-commitment to ensure the most effective outcome is achieved.

The NSW Council of Churches was founded in 1924 and represents the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, the Baptist Churches of NSW & ACT, the Christian Reformed Churches of Australia, the Churches of Christ in NSW, the Fellowship of Congregational Churches (NSW), the Presbyterian Church of Australia (NSW), and The Salvation Army (Eastern Territory).

Media contact Rod Benson 0412 421 678

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