Expert Opinion

Professor Alex Blaszczynski, Director of the University of Sydney’s Gambling Treatment Clinic

Four Corners, ABC, 20/6/11

“I don’t believe that pre-commitment is going to have its desired effects. I think there may in fact be an unintended consequence where gamblers set higher limits and then will gamble more amounts of money to meet those particular limits.”

Dr Sally Gainsbury, Centre for Gambling Education and Research, Southern Cross University

Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform, 4/2/11

“There is some evidence that pre-commitment levels will actually increase gambling for problem gamblers, who will set higher limits to give themselves a buffer zone and then end up actually spending more because they are changing their own mindsets of how much they have to spend.”

Jeff Rich, Counsellor

The Daily Liberal, 28/5/11

“You’ve got licences to drive, and people still drive without licences.  You’ve got licences to obtain and use firearms, people still can obtain them.  So if you have licences for poker machines, people are still going to find ways around using them.”

The Salvation Army, Eastern Territory

“The Salvation Army AUE is supportive of the introduction of voluntary pre-commitment technology on all poker machines.  We also support a trial of mandatory pre-commitment technology in a designated jurisdiction, as recommended by the Productivity Commission Report, 2010.”


Political Opinion

Michael O’Brien, Victorian Gaming Minister

PM, ABC Radio, 27/5/11 

“It would be bizarre for a Commonwealth government that never took a gaming policy to the election… to try and stop any state from implementing its own policy.  So if the Federal Government does go down that path, I suspect we’re going to have to take action to defend the integrity of our policies.”

Janelle Saffin, Federal Member for Page

The Sydney Morning Herald, 20/8/11

”My personal position is I would prefer voluntary pre-commitment. I would prefer the clubs to lead on this and have the staff appropriately trained to support it.”

Tony Abbott, Leader of the Opposition

Doorstop Interview, 1/9/11

”The Coalition doesn’t support mandatory pre-commitment.  We’ve never supported mandatory pre-commitment.  We have always thought that mandatory pre-commitment was taking a sledge hammer to crack a walnut…(the) Government should face up to the reality which is that they’re never going to get this legislation passed and just accept that it’s not going to happen.”

Tony Windsor, Federal Member for New England

Media Release, 1/4/11

”There is no doubt in my mind after talking with smaller club managers that if some of the proposals being talked about come to fruition, they would potentially wipe out some clubs…I’m not convinced that some of the proposals will have the effect of reducing problem gambling.”

George Souris, NSW Minister for Gaming and Racing

PM, ABC Radio, 27/5/11

”The Commonwealth is pursuing this because of a political agreement with Mr Wilkie.  The Commonwealth is not pursuing this as a result of significant research or trial or science.”


Public Opinion

Jeff Kennett, President, Hawthorn Football Club

Herald Sun, 16/9/11

“If Wilkie’s proposals are accepted by the Gillard Government…revenue will fall by between 30 and 40 per cent. That would result in massive losses for many of the current operators as well as the Victorian Government. It would also cause substantial job losses.  For those of us associated with AFL clubs it will dramatically reduce the revenue that is currently allocated to our football departments.”

Graeme Carroll, CEO, RSL & Services Clubs Association of NSW

CMA, May 2011

“If the current proposals by the Federal Government and Tasmanian Independent MP, Andrew Wilkie, for a “licence to punt” comes to fruition, not only will RSL and services clubs close, but cities and towns across NSW will lose their Anzac culture on which this country is firmly based.  RSL and services clubs, because of their history, offer a unique contribution to the fabric of Australian life.”