Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Report shows local clubs will be profitable under pokies reforms

Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, has said a secret report prepared for Clubs Queensland has confirmed that clubs and pubs will continue to thrive when the Government’s changes to poker machine venues are introduced.

“The report shows that the ‘chicken little’ revenue figures often cited by Clubs Australia just don’t stack up,” Ms Macklin said.

“Their own consultants are telling them clubs can manage these changes to help problem gamblers.”

Ms Macklin said the report will reassure community members who may have been concerned about the impact on clubs and community groups.

“Clubs are an important part of the community. Local clubs will continue to provide good value services to members, but this need not be at the expense of people who are gambling away their entire family budget.

“This report clearly confirms that local clubs and pubs will remain profitable under the Government’s changes to tackle pokie addiction.”

Ms Macklin said she was concerned with the misinformation being promoted by some sections of the industry as part of a $40 million scare campaign.

“Australians want action on problem gambling and that’s exactly what we are doing.

“We should be able to have an informed and rational debate about how to best tackle problem gambling, so I will keep talking about the facts.

“The fact is there up to five million Australians affected by problem gambling each year, including those with a gambling addiction, their friends, family and employers.

“Pre-commitment gives pokie players a tool to help them think about how much they are willing to lose, to let them set their own limits and stick to them.”

The facts on problem gambling

  • Up to five million Australians are affected by problem gambling each year, including those with a gambling addiction, their friends, family and employers.
  • The social cost to the community of problem gambling is estimated to be at least $4.7 billion a year.
  • Only about 15 per cent of problem gamblers seek help.
  • Three-quarters of problem gamblers have problems with poker machines. In fact, 1 in 6 people who play the pokies regularly has a serious addiction.
  • Problem gamblers lose around $21,000 each year on poker machines. That’s one third of the average Australian salary.
  • The Productivity Commission – Australia’s leading economic research body – recommended full pre-commitment as the most effective way to tackle problem gambling.