For years, MP Andrew Wilkie has fought to have poker machine reform enacted. With problem gambling rates rising to dangerous levels across Australia, Wilkie wanted the local government to enact a legislation that would curb problem gambling rates. Unfortunately, there has been delay after delay – even after the reform was demoted to a mandatory pre-commitment trial.
The trial, affect poker machines in the ACT only, was expected to begin in February 2013. However, the federal government has recently announced that it requires the support of The Greens before moving forward. This puts the deal at a natural impasse, as The Greens have publically announced that they believe $1 betting limits are a better solution.
“The government has never had its heart in this”, Wilkie said in a report in Sky News. “Now, they have someone to blame, the Greens”.
Wilkie believes that this will be the end of the potential reform, losing hope that it even a trial of the system will ever take place. Should The Greens provide their support, the earliest the trial can begin will be towards the end of 2013.