The Salvation Army’s rejection of mandatory pre-commitment technology on club, hotel and casino poker machines is yet another nail in the coffin for Andrew Wilkie’s experimental reforms.
The Salvation Army has via statement indicated its support for voluntary pre-commitment; technology that allows the gambler to decide whether they wish to register for a gambling card before playing a poker machine.
The differences offered by a voluntary pre-commitment system (instead of mandatory) include:
- No requirement for the gambler to register for a card before they can play
- No requirement for an identity database of people who have registered for a gambling card
- No requirement to create a system linking all 200,000 poker machines nationally.
In its statement, the Salvation Army states:
“The Salvation Army is supportive of the introduction of voluntary pre-commitment technology on all poker machines. This will allow gamblers the opportunity to thoughtfully consider their options before commencing.
“We also support a trial of mandatory pre-commitment technology in a designated jurisdiction, as recommended by the Productivity Commission Report 2010.
“However the Salvation Army believes that, regardless of the findings of a trial, a mandatory pre-commitment system on its own will not effectively respond to the complex issues that underpin problem gambling.”
Executive Director of Clubs Australia Anthony Ball said the Prime Minister is persisting with mandatory pre-commitment only because of Andrew Wilkie’s threats to withdraw his support for the Government.
“Andrew Wilkie’s continuing bullying of the Government, and the Prime Minister’s willingness to tolerate it, is an insult to the Australian community.
“Common sense, and now the Salvation Army, says you don’t help a problem gambler by giving them a gambling card. To invoke a law to control the urge of a compulsive gambler is nonsense.
“The Salvation Army’s rejection of mandatory pre-commitment is telling as they know better than most what helps a problem gambler. The Gillard Government needs to start listening to the Salvos and stop listening to Andrew Wilkie.
“A voluntary pre-commitment scheme, as supported by the Salvation Army, can be an effective tool for helping social gamblers stick to their limits.
“Trials in both South Australia and Queensland have indicated that gamblers overwhelming support voluntary pre-commitment. More importantly, more than three quarters of the trial participants did not support the technology being made mandatory as demanded by Andrew Wilkie and for the moment at least, the Federal Government,” Anthony Ball said.
Media: Carissa Simons 0417 348 659. A copy of the Salvation Army statement can be provided.
Media Relations Manager
ClubsNSW / ClubsAustralia
Direct: 02 9268 3032
Mobile: 0419 267 789