Australian Government Cancels Previous Gambling Laws

Published Tuesday, December 03, 2013 -
Australian Government Cancels Previous Gambling Laws

Australian gambling laws were adjusted during the Gillard administration to include warnings on video poker machines about the dangers of over indulgence in the activity. With the Abbott government now in power it has decided to overturn pre-commitment laws brought in by the Labor government only one year ago. The mandatory technology in the ACT, where punters have to select how much they were prepared to lose before the start of play will not be implemented.

Another restriction on gamblers included a nationwide prohibition on withdrawing more than $250 at automated teller machines in gambling areas other than those in casinos. This ban was due to take effect on February 1st 2014 but will also be scrapped. The Abbott Government has said it will pursue voluntary pre-commitment and provide more help for gamblers with issues.

A collaboration between Independent and anti gambling advocate Andrew Wilkie and the Greens was established to support Gillard’s government as long as gambling reforms was on the table. The reforms implemented by Gillard were considered insufficient and now they have been removed causing real concern for the Greens and Wilkie. Checks on the industry by the Productivity Commission and a National Gambling Regulator will no longer be required said the government.

This move by Abbott is a blow for anti-gambling proponents as Wilkie pointed out the lack of concern the Government has for Australia’s 95,000 problem gamblers.

Greens Senator Richard Di Natale commented that he thought it was insensitive to cancel the modest reforms. Dr Di Natale stated, "That one of the Abbott Government's first Bills gives the pokies industry everything it wants, at the expense of vulnerable families, tells you everything you need to know about this Government," Abbott reacted by saying that he was only keeping the Liberals' election promises."We support voluntary pre-commitment, more counseling for problem gamblers, and we will implement stronger restrictions on online gambling,"

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