Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Clubs scare campaign has got it wrong yet again

Claims made in today’s Daily Telegraph about pre-commitment on poker machines are wrong, the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin said.

Ms Macklin said the claims are part of a $20 million scare campaign by big gambling operators.

“This is just another example of the misinformation being peddled by those desperate to protect their pokies profits,” Ms Macklin said.

“Clubs Australia are using some very aggressive tactics – but the Australian community won’t be bullied by this $20 million scare campaign. And the Government won’t be either.

“Australians want action to tackle problem gambling and that’s what we are delivering.”

The facts are:

  • The Norwegian survey referred to in the Daily Telegraph actually shows an overall reduction in problem gambling between 2005 and 2010.
  • Norway doesn’t have poker machines. Poker machines were banned in 2007 and removed entirely from the market.
  • New video lottery terminals were introduced in 2009 which are nothing like Australian poker machines. The introduction of ‘pre-commitment’ in Norway was actually the introduction of a new form of gambling – video lottery terminals.
  • In Norway, the Government has set a maximum monthly limit on how much people can lose on the video lottery terminals. It does not require people to set their own limits. This is not the mandatory pre-commitment system the Australian Government will implement.
  • The Norwegian Gambling Authority has found definitively that poker machine players did not move to online gambling when poker machines were banned in 2007 (September 2010 presentation to the European Association for the Study of Gambling –
  • Online gambling has decreased since Norway introduced video lottery terminals with maximum monthly limits.