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A statement regarding poker machine reform
31 October 2012
A STATEMENT REGARDING POKER MACHINE REFORM
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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