For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 1 Sep 2013.
This week we saw what political donations of $550,000 to the federal Coalition by the gambling industry can buy.
It allows the clubs and hotels to virtually write the Coalition’s poker machine policy, which betrays problem gamblers and those at risk of gambling addiction. If the Coalition wins the election on Saturday, Mr Abbott says he will ditch the ACT trial and establish an advisory council made up of club and gaming venue operators who will advise the government on how to support problem gamblers.
The Reverend Tim Costello likened the move to putting “Dracula in charge of the blood bank.”
Independent Senator Nick Xenophon called the announcement a “sorry and pathetic excuse for a policy,” and said it reflected “industry capture” of the federal Coalition.
The best way to protect public health and ensure harm minimisation for poker machines is to introduce mandatory pre-commitment technology and a one dollar bet limit on all pokies.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.