Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 31 Mar 2013
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.
We’re all aware of the rise of of ubiquitous sports betting and gambling advertising invading televised sport. A state government inquiry could examine the social impact of poker machines, telephone betting and online betting, and recommend reforms aimed at effective harm minimisation and consumer protection.
NSW Council of Churches President, the Reverend Dr Ross Clifford, said such a proposal was not about seeking to impose wowser values. No one who is genuinely concerned about the devastating impact of problem gambling on individuals and communities in NSW wants to wait for a federal inquiry to report on federal issues. This is an issue for the states, and NSW should take the lead.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.