Western Australia Minister for Racing and Gaming Terry Waldron
Move To Broaden Gambling Controls Welcomed
Victor P Taffa
The State Government has backed a move to broaden the focus on gambling and its impacts upon the community.
Racing and Gaming Minister Terry Waldron said he was pleased the COAG Select Council on Gambling Reform had agreed to review the Federal laws governing on-line gambling as part of a broader focus on problem gambling in the community.
“I am very pleased the Federal Government has agreed to review the Interactive Gambling Act because the existing controls are ineffective and the impacts of on-line gambling as regards problem gambling are not being recognised or addressed at the moment.” Mr. Waldron said.
The Minister said he strongly supported action to reduce and control the promotion of live odds during sports coverage.
“Governments across Australia are concerned that promotion, including commentary by sporting role models, is now a major component of live sports coverage and this has the ability to greatly influence the community and particularly the younger members.” Mr. Waldron said.
The council also agreed that precommitment, where a gambler pre-commits the amount of money they are prepared to lose before playing, is a useful tool and supported precommitment technology.
Mr. Waldron said while Western Australia maintained its strong support for voluntary precommitment, he remained opposed to mandatory precommitment.
“I firmly believe that Western Australia’s approach to minimising problem gambling is far more effective than the notion of mandatory pre-commitment.” the Minister said.
“If every other State adopted the same gambling restrictions we use in WA the meeting today wouldn’t have been required.”
“We don’t have poker machines at all in WA and the gaming machines that are permitted are low intensity machines in terms of spin rates, bet options, and attractiveness to players, and they are restricted to the casino.”
“This comes at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars in taxation revenue forgone an outcome which we are happy to sustain.” Mr. Waldron said.