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A statement regarding poker machine reform

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31 October 2012


I was very pleased to learn that the Greens have agreed to back the Government’s watered

down poker machine reforms.

The Government’s package is much less than the deep reforms promised by the Prime

Minister after the 2010 election. But they are better than nothing and worth supporting.

Moreover they will establish the precedent of federal intervention in poker machine

regulation and that alone is very important.

For my part I only agreed to support the Government’s watered down reforms when they

agreed to my demands that all poker machines must be mandatory pre-commitment capable

at the flick of a switch, and that the conditions for the Canberra trial of mandatory pre-commitment must be legislated.

I empathise with the Greens’ sentiment that these reforms could have been much more

substantial. And I agree with the Greens’ that $1 maximum bets would have been a better

way to go; and hence my efforts to negotiate such an outcome after the 2010 election.

But sometimes compromise is necessary, and I have no doubt that history will record the

limited reforms of this parliament as being the start of the clean-up of an industry that has

grown fat on the misery of Australia’s most vulnerable people.

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