Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Promoting research and discussion into gambling activities

Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today opened the National Association for Gambling Studies (NAGS) 13th Annual Conference in Canberra.

Senator Patterson said NAGS plays an important role is promoting discussion and research into all areas of gambling activity and this three day conference is a premier event for those involved in gambling related industry, service, regulation and research.

“A national approach is needed to address problem gambling. At the Ministerial Council on Gambling meeting held last week, officials discussed a range of initiatives aimed at addressing problem gambling, and supported the development of a national framework on problem gambling,” Senator Patterson said.

“The National Gambling Research Program has also been established by the Ministerial Council on Gambling. This historic agreement will fund vital research to develop detailed data about the nature of gambling and the consequences surrounding problematic gambling.

“This information will be used to develop future strategies to help problem gamblers and to provide effective early intervention and prevention measures for those at risk.

“The agreement saw the Australian Government and state and territory governments jointly signing a memorandum of understanding, which committed each party to financially contribute towards the National Gambling Research Program. This funding totals $1 million each year, of which the Australian Government contributes $300,000 annually.

“Problem gambling is a serious issue for all Australians and to make any headway all levels of government and the community need to work together,” said Senator Patterson.