For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 8 Dec 2013.
Vested interests always make a mockery of the democratic ideal of one vote, one value in Australia. And nowhere is this more apparent than in the introduction of laws to regulate problem gambling.
The Abbott Government has moved to overturn the small gains made by the Gillard Labor Government in 2012, including:
- doing away with laws requiring warnings on poker machines telling players of the cost and harm of problem gambling, even though these were not to come into effect until December 2018;
- aborting a trial of mandatory precommitment technology for pokies in the ACT, where people would have to nominate how much they were prepared to lose before playing; and
- removing a nationwide ban on withdrawing more than $250 from ATMs in gaming areas apart from casinos, which was due to be implemented from February 1.
The Labor Party has allowed these laws to be overturned, suggesting that they never really believed in them and have no solutions to problem gambling.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.