Coalition’s Stance on Pokie Reform Upsets Churches

Anti-gambling groups are not impressed with the government’s effort to fight problem gambling in Australia. Over the course of the past year, the Gillard government has reneged on its promise to legislate poker reform and delayed its plans to begin a pokie reform trial – and organizations are tired of waiting. Taking a roundabout approach, the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce has approached the Coalition, questioning its stance on the pokie reform trial.

Tim Costello, chairman of the taskforce has written to the Coalition to get to the bottom of it. He has questioned why the opposition has not shown its support for a bill that would legislation poker machine reform, as lack of support is what cause the bill to be scrapped.

Now that the government has proposed a trial of the technology, the Coalition has stated that it does not support mandatory pre-commitment, opting to support a voluntary pre-commitment trial. The group has stated that its reason behind his is simply that mandatory pre-commitment would not work, which Costello is not buying.

”I know you explained that this is because the Coalition does not believe it will work, but is this not the point of a trial?,” he wrote. “We do not understand why the Coalition opposes this.”