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Greens call on Rudd to put pokies reform back on agenda

Australian Greens gambling spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale, joined Tasmanian Senator, Peter Whish-Wilson, in Hobart today to announce the Greens policy on pokies for the 2013 election and call on Prime Minister Rudd to get behind pokies reform. 

"This parliament missed the opportunity to comprehensively deal with the harms from problem gambling but a new government has the opportunity to put pokies back on the political agenda," said Senator Di Natale.

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Pokies: Dollar Bet Limits

Australians are the world's most prolific gamblers. We spend a remarkable $1200 per capita every year on bets. 

Of the $19 billion gambled by Australians every year, 60% (or $12 billion) goes into poker machines. About 4% of the adult population, or 600,000 people, play pokies at least weekly. Up to 15% of the people who gamble weekly are considered "problem gamblers" who have difficulty controlling their play and expenditure. These problem gamblers account for about 40% of all pokies losses. This means that those who can least afford it are losing the most.

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Politics trumps evidence on gambling committee

A Greens-initiated Parliamentary Inquiry into gambling advertisements in sport has today reported its findings.
“Sadly the majority report reflects the views of the old parties who have again put politics before evidence,” said Greens spokesperson on gambling and sport, Senator Richard Di Natale.

“Despite the broad consensus of the committee that something needs to be done to disentangle gambling advertising from sport, the old parties have baulked at taking strong action.

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Waterhouse makes mockery of live odds reform

Australian Greens spokesperson for sport and gambling, Senator Richard Di Natale, said this morning that presence of Tom Waterhouse in the broadcast of the first NRL game in the 2013 season, shows that proposed reforms to the broadcast of live odds are dead on arrival.

“Gambling advertisements and odds are blight on Australian sport and they risk creating another generation of problem gamblers,” said Senator Di Natale.

“Minister Conroy supports industry-regulated codes on the broadcast of live odds but last night the weakness of those changes were highlighted.

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