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PM misleading the public on costs of $1 bet option: Greens

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 23 Jan 2012

Greens’ spokesperson for gambling, Senator Richard Di Natale, said today that the Government must release their advice about the cost of the Greens’ $1 bet option.

“The PM’s primary justification for not supporting the Greens’ $1 bet proposal is the cost, which she claims comes in at $1.5 billion.

“The $1.5 billion price tag is completely at odds with the analysis conducted by independent authorities such as The Australia Institute and Monash University academics, who cost the proposal at less than $350 million.

“Given the wildly differing estimates, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the Government are using misleading figures as cover for dodging this important reform.

“Julia Gillard said this morning that she wants to deal in facts – well it’s time to put all the facts on the table regarding the costs of $1 bets. The government wants to gather evidence from a trial so it needs to be consistent and provide evidence to back up its costings.

“In Victoria, poker machines had their limit reduced from $10 per spin to $5, without any claims of burdensome costs from the industry. Implementing $1 bets is no different.

“In any case, a high price tag should not be a barrier to poker machine reform. By 2017, which is the timeline for $1 bet limits, another $30 billion will be lost by problem gamblers.”

Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600

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