For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 2 Mar 2014.
The Abbott Government has made some positive moves to address sports betting advertising, and there are opportunities for reform of online and interactive gambling, but it appears that State Gambling Ministers and the federal government have failed to commit to the ongoing funding of Gambling Research Australia, their joint body on gambling research which has published a series of high quality research reports.
Gambling research funded by governments has been seriously inadequate to address the growth and diversification of gambling activities and the incidence of gambling harm. The prospect of further funding cuts makes it increasingly difficult for researchers to adequately address the problems and issues that arise.
While a move to defund State and Commonwealth gambling research will dismay anti-gambling activists, and families of those suffering the harmful effects of gambling addiction, it appears that the gambling industry is quietly celebrating the possibility that Gambling Research Australia will be defunded.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.