Gambling Policy. ACOSS Conference 2011

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1 Gambling Policy ACOSS Conference 2011 The Current Debates And why they matter ACOSS interest in Gambling First ACOSS conference to Consider Gambling Community concern in Gambling policy mainly carried by Churches, over last decade, Church Gambling Taskforces in Vic, Tas, SA Gambling moving from being purely state to national level, eg Internet / on line, pokies pre commitment.

2 4 Main Regulated Gambling Activities in Australia 1. Lotteries (Keno, Scratchies, XLotto, powerball) 2. Wagering, (Totaliser betting on Thoroughbred racing (gallops), Harness Racing (trots) and Greyhounds (dogs). Also includes sports betting.) Also includes bookmakers 3. Casino (Pokies and table games) 4. Poker machines in hotels and licensed clubs Illegal Gambling Internet Gambling, poker outside casinos Unlicensed clubs Poker / cards for money Mahjong etc

3 Lotteries First Government operated lottery game was Golden Casket Art Union, NSW, Located in retail outlets and hotels / licensed clubs, most popular forms of gambling 2. All lotteries activities conducted by State Governments generally, Vic Intralot 3. Profits gone to funding hospitals / services 4. Minimum age of purchase recently increased from 16 to 18 years, in most jurisdictions Wagering Bookmaking from 1850 s, on course 1930.s, state totalisators from 1960 s 1. Mainly in hotels (pubtab) also TAB stand alone shops. 2. TAB previously owned by State Governments, now TabCorp, UNiTAB Betting Exchange: BetFair 3. Internet sport betting exemption 4. Bookmakers also take wagering bets, mainly at racetracks, some in casinos

4 Casinos, from Exclusive licenses to run a casino in Australia. Limits all table games (roulette, blackjack etc) and two up to casino only 2. Operated by Skycity, Tabcorp, PBL, Crown ltd, Federal Group Poker Machines NSW 1956, ACT 1970 s, Q land, Victoria 1992, SA Introduced into licensed clubs then hotls from 1956, most states from Over 90% turnover in hotels in SA, mainly in licensed clubs in NSW, ACT.

5 Gambling Turnover SA Gambling Turnover, by Sector, 1990/1-2004/5 $ m Casino Pokies Racing Lotteries 0 90/91 91/92 92/93 93/94 94/95 95/96 96/97 97/98 98/99 99/ / / / /4 2005/5 Problem Gambling Problem Gambling Estimates, SA People

6 Approx % of Source of Problem Gambling as seen by Help Services 85% Pokies 10% Wagering 3% Casino 2% Lotteries ACOSS / Community Concern Problem gambling Second after heroine as contributor to crime (theft) 40 60% egm spend from Problem gambling 20% problem gamblers consider or attempt suicide Approx 7 people affected for every person with gambling problem, 1 being a child Community / family dislocation

7 What to Do? Understand this as an unsafe product 30% regular users harmed Less than a quarter of Australians play the pokies Public Health Approach Current Priority: Pre commitment Budget to gamble. Public Health Approach The Korn and Shaffer Public Health Framework for Gambling 1999 None Mild Substantial Severe NO GAMBLING HEALTHY GAMBLING UNHEALTHY GAMBLING Brief Treatment Intensive Health promotion Harm reduction Primary prevention Secondary prevention Tertiary prevention

8 Elements of Pre commitment From Productivity Commission 1.Reach: Which venues covered? 2.Compulsion: Opt in, Opt Out or Compulsory 3.Reaching a Limit: What Happens? 4.Controls: Limits to amount that can be gambled 5.Information: data available for research and government monitoring.

9 5 Public Policy Questions Regarding Gambling Pre commitment

10 Question 1 Degree of Compulsion? Voluntary or Universal? Or somewhere in between? If compulsion, is it for venues, gamblers or both? Question 2 How wide the distribution of Platform / System? ie Reach Venue only Ownership Group Regional State / Territory National International

11 Question 3 What Happens when LIMIT Reached? Minimum set of notification options On machine display Cashier / authorised venue employee notification Documented in Activity Statement Venue staff approach (advice re help service on 3rd limit exceedence?) No further loyalty points accrue Gambling continues in safe mode only Play stops Question 3 cont Customer choice re notification options Text Alert to Mobile phone 3 rd party notification Call to mobile phone Audible machine sound

12 Question 4 Should pre commitment be permitted to be included as part of a Loyalty program? If yes should there be a code of practice re loyalty and pre commitment, for example No promotional material on 3 rd Exceedence Limits to use of Loyalty points Customer Statements, Paper, in venue and on line Question 5 Who owns (and Reports) Data? It s Public Health Data customer owns Regulator or venue owns quarterly data return to a regulator Data management group including venues, community, researchers, government, for each jurisdiction Annual public reporting of minimimum agreed, aggregated data set widely available Data collection standard established

13 What the Industry is Saying Must be voluntary Huge cost to implement No evidence it will work Will make many community clubs unviable Huge job loss Invasion of customer privacy Nanny state Recent Trials South Australia trials Exiting Loyalty card platform: J Card, 7 venues Change Tracker, wallet card, intended for small venues GGI (Maxitag) trial just commenced in some clubs, evaluator appointed, Queensland trials include Sandgate RSL Redcliffe RSL Overseas Nova Scotia (Canada) Norway

14 What do we now know? Pre commitment / smart card approaches are effective Public Health approaches Gamblers unlikely to sign up to a card type precommitment program un prompted (eg less than 1%) Pre commitment regarded as Problem Gambler focus Less is More. The less options for gamblers, the better. Pokies players highly mobile between venues Technology can do anything Myth Busting 1 Must be voluntary Won t be used by most players if left to choice Huge cost to implement Options exist that are affordable, nb $12b annual turnover pa, so even $1b not excessive No evidence it will work Banks, Financial Counsellors etc etc focus on budgeting it does work Trials of pre commitment show it works Will make many community clubs unviable Only if they rely on income from people with gambling problems, an unsustainable (and un ethical) business model

15 Myth Busting 2 Huge job loss Employment multiplier of gambling very low, 2 3 per extra $1m spent, cf 7 8 for bar, 15+ for restaurants / food Shift pokies spend, will almost certainly go to higher employment businesses Invasion of customer privacy Gambler can keep all their own information Already venues hold info re every purchase. Nanny state 30% regular customers harmed its consumer protection What do we need? 1. Action: Once in a generation opportunity to reduce gambling harm 2. Mandatory scheme, every venue, every pokie, every player (nb many gamblers already have a card; membership, loyalty etc) 3. Gambler can increase limit with 24 hours notice, ie opt out option 4. Open to option of mandatory Pre commitment for high intensity pokies, but not for low intensity 5. Real responses to limit exceedence Can t play Human intervention

16 Mark Henley UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide

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