15 August 2014 – for immediate release
Thirty months after the President of the NSW Council of Churches called on the O’Farrell Government to investigate the social impact of the gambling industry in NSW, a Legislative Council Inquiry has tabled its report on the matter.
“We welcome the release of this significant report as an opportunity for the State Government to take a lead and shift the focus of gambling from revenue raising to harm prevention in line with community expectations,” Council President the Reverend Dr Ross Clifford said.
The report contains 18 recommendations on issues including the regulation of electronic gaming machines, state-wide third-party initiated exclusions from gambling venues, gambling awareness campaigns, referring problem gamblers to appropriate treatment services, and increasing industry responsibility in preventing problem gambling.
Gambling research plays a fundamental role in problem gambling prevention and treatment. The report made two recommendations to secure ongoing funding for gambling research since the national gambling research agency had lost its funding beyond mid-2014.
Dr Clifford, said he was pleased former Premier Barry O’Farrell had established the wide-ranging inquiry, and expressed hope that Premier Mike Baird would adopt all recommendations in the interests of public health.
Media contact Rod Benson 0412 421 678