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The coalition takes a firm stance on games in Australia

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Posted on August 27, 2013 by Terry Goodwin

There is a political battle going on in Australia and it seems that the issue of gambling will be in the first place as to who will take power in the next election. The coalition released its strongest gambling announcement this week when it announced that there could be a complete overhaul of regulatory procedures.

Clubs Australia, the most powerful gambling lobby in the country, has been in conflict with the current administration for several years. New safeguards against problem gambling, such as limiting the amount players can lose at casinos, have met with resistance from Clubs Australia.

The coalition made this division a rallying point for Australians who enjoy gambling as a form of entertainment. The coalition says that if they gain power, they will suspend gambling limit laws and disband the current supervisory committee that regulates casinos.

In its place, the Coalition would assemble a group of Game Directors and use them as an advisory board to regulate games in Australia. This decision prompted some experts to scratch their heads.

"It's just weird for the gambling industry to lead an advisory group," said Dr. Colin McLeod, who studies the gaming industry as a senior fellow at the University of Melbourne. "What you are asking the industry to do is find ways to cut the spending of your most profitable customers."

Australian clubs and gambling advocates take a different view, implying that it is industry people who know best how to regulate games.

"The Coalition's approach recognizes the work already done and reflects a reality where policies based on proper consultation and deliberation work better for problem gamblers than those that are the result of hasty political deals," Clubs Australia said in a statement.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie was the most pushing legislator for reforms in the gaming industry. Wilkie pushed through rules that require players to enter introductory amounts before they sit down at a casino slot machine. The point is that once this limit is reached, a player cannot be indulging in gambling and lose more than he can afford.

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