Australian clubs and pubs, along with our State Governments, recognise that problem gambling is an important issue and we will continue to support policies that work and help problem gamblers. Effective policy collaborations between industry and state governments have witnessed the problem gambling prevalence rate reduce in every Australian jurisdiction. In NSW, for example, our evidence-based approach has seen the rate of problem gambling halved over the past four years to 0.4%. The Gillard Government’s laws will not only undo the good we’ve done, it will impact every Australian and their community. That’s why we are asking the Australian Government to make sure we get problem gambling policies right.
What do we support?
Clubs Australia advocates a common sense and proven approach to assisting problem gamblers. For a number of years, clubs have been at the forefront of developing strategies and programs that deal specifically with the issue of destructive gambling. We are committed to ensuring that problem gambling policies remain targeted and effective. Take a look at some of the existing responsible gambling initiatives currently in place across Australian pubs and clubs:
- Problem gambling counselling services (including 24-hour crisis lines)
- Self exclusion schemes
- Mandatory responsible gambling training for staff (RCG)
- Industry codes of practice
- Promotion of time-out rooms
- Restrictions on gaming machine features
- Display of clocks on gaming machines
- Responsible gambling signage
- Restriction on ATM facilities and placement
- Ban on credit gaming
- Restrictions on minors in gaming areas
In addition to these measures, state governments fund public awareness campaigns, complete regular auditory checks of gaming facilities and cap the number of machines allowed to operate in each state.
Clubs Australia is of the fundamental belief that problem gamblers should not be entering gambling venues. That’s why we don’t believe the complex issue of problem gambling can be solved by simply providing problem gamblers with an access card.
Instead, we support trialled and tested measures, such as counselling and self-exclusion. Our industry is not complacent on this issue of gambling reform; clubs in NSW are currently trialling multi venue self –exclusion, a harm minimisation measure aimed at expanding the safety net of services currently offered to gamblers.
We also support the introduction of voluntary, venue-based pre-commitment. The key difference between voluntary and mandatory pre-commitment is that a voluntary scheme will still offer assistance to those gamblers who feel they need use the system, but the implementation costs won’t push hundreds of pubs and clubs across Australia to the wall.
Some people who gamble, be it on poker machines, sports betting or online, do so destructively.
We do not believe that problem gamblers should be gambling at all. Problem gamblers need counselling and treatment, not untested and unproven 'safe' gambling through a licence to punt. We encourage problem gamblers to seek the help they need. The success rate from counselling and treatment is very high. Every pub and club is able to refer problem gamblers to a local treatment centre. We also recommend problem gamblers sign self-exclusion agreements with venues, to prevent them from entering gaming premises.
If you, or anyone you know has a problem with gambling, we urge you to contact the following services:
New South Wales: