Thursday, 2 October 2014

Dr Charles Livingstone: QLD 'red tape reduction' harms problem gamblers

School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine's Dr Charles Livingstone has co authored a study which has found that the Queensland government's “red-tape reduction program”
has increased community reliance on gambling to fund infrastructure rather than help problem gamblers.

Dr Livingstone said the Queensland government had given priority to revenue-raising over the well being of problem gamblers and their families.

"It's about money, pure and simple," he said.

"Clearly the government's priority is to encourage gambling businesses, but you can't do that unless you encourage problem gambling as well."

Before the implementation of the red tape reduction changes, a jackpot poker machine winner could only claim their winnings via cheque, or at the venue 24 hours after the win, however clubs now have the option to pay out up to $5000 in cash on the spot.

"For problem gamblers that means they're going to put [their winnings] straight back in [a poker machine] again. That's a retro-aggressive step that has no particular benefit for anyone except the operators and the government who collect it in revenue," Dr Livingstone said.

Click here to read the full report.

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