#907 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 15 Jun 2014.
Australian university researchers have found that the more money spent per capita on pokies in a venue, the higher the rate of gambling problems in that venue. The finding, recently published in the journal Addiction, confirms that moves to increases gambling losses are likely to be at the expense of the public good.
The gambling industry claims that any spend increase is unlikely to be associated with increased problem gambling because pokies are already highly accessible.
But the new research suggests that a high rate of gambling expenditure in a venue is directly associated with high incidence of problem gambling within that area.
Disadvantaged communities like Fairfield are not only losing financial resources at an alarming rate, but are also bearing a disproportionate burden of gambling-related human misery.
As such, stemming gambling expenditure – especially but not exclusively in disadvantaged locations – must be a high priority.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.