After the unfortunate suicide of Julie Smith from Ballarat, local politicians want to see improved provisions for the poky reform legislation. Over the course of the past year, the idea of reform has been whittled down from nation-wide mandatory pre-commitment to a trial of voluntary pre-commitment in the ACT. Now, Smith’s gambling addiction-related death has prompted the demand for a more effective gambling reform plan.
Julie Smith suffered from a gambling addiction for years. By the time she had reached rock bottom, she was spending $1000 per week and was deep in debt. Last week, she decided to take her life, devastating friends and family while prompting politicians to take action.
Now, MP Andrew Wilkie and Nick Xenophon are more motivated than ever. The two anti-gambling advocates believe that a number of safeguards should be introduced to protect players from developing gambling addictions. In addition to pre-commitment, they believe that improvements should be made to counselling and self-exclusion programs to help those who are already affected by problem gambling.
Additionally, the two politicians believe that clubs owners should take some responsibility. Staff should be trained to recognize the signs of problem gambling, and pub operators should be able to effectively manage players who exhibit these symptoms.