Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

First meeting of Ministerial Expert Advisory Group on Gambling

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Bill Shorten MP, Assistant Treasurer

The Ministerial Expert Advisory Group on Gambling today met for the first time in Melbourne to discuss the Australian Government’s problem gambling reforms.

The Group, chaired by Professor Peter Shergold AC, will provide specialist and technical implementation advice to the Government to assist in delivering the national gambling reforms, including a full pre-commitment scheme on poker machines.

Members today discussed the Government’s commitments, and set the future work agenda for the Group. The Group’s initial feedback on implementation issues will help shape the Government’s research and work program.

The Group also agreed to focus their next meeting in December on pre-commitment.

The Government welcomes the contributions of the 22 member Group, which includes representatives from:

  • problem gambling counselling and support services;
  • clubs, hotels, casinos and gaming machine manufacturers;
  • the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union; and
  • research and academic institutions that specialise in understanding problem gambling behaviour and harm minimisation measures.

As part of our evidence based gambling reforms, the Government has committed to introduce a full pre-commitment scheme for poker machines by 2014, poker machine dynamic warning and ‘cost of play’ displays, and a $250 daily ATM withdrawal limit in venues with poker machines, except casinos.

The Government’s reforms are based on the expert recommendations of a major independent inquiry conducted by the Productivity Commission.

The Australian Government is committed to working with the states and territories, industry and the community sector to ensure staged, evidence based implementation of the gambling reforms.

Problem gambling destroys lives – not only the life of the problem gambler but also the lives of their families and friends.

The Government’s reforms will help limit the damaging effects of problem gambling, while continuing to let thousands of Australians enjoy recreational gambling in pubs and clubs.