Australia Reports Progress by Gambling CouncilPublished August 3, 2008 by OCR Editor
Uniform nation-wide gambling regulations are closer now after a Ministerial Council on Gambling meeting.
The Tasmanian Treasurer and Minister for Racing, Michael Aird, said he was pleased with the progress made at last week's Ministerial Council on Gambling (MCG) meeting in Melbourne.
The MCG was convened to discuss way to develop a uniform national approach to problem gambling. It came shortly after the publishing of a study into gambling in the southern island state.
Problem gambling study
The Social and Economic Impact Study into Gambling in Tasmania, made public on July 22, found that gambling is not a significant contributor to economic growth in Tasmania, and also drew a link between problem gambling and serious crime and substance abuse.
The report by the South Australian Centre for Economics Studies found that total gambling expenditure in Tasmania increased 133 per cent over the past 25 years, from $123 million to $287 million. Most of that growth was credited to the introduction of electronic gaming machines into pubs and clubs.
The study found the largest contributor to gambling expenditure was gaming machines, with 38.1 percent of total spending, followed by casino gambling at 34.7 percent and lotteries at 17.2 percent.
Council on Gambling
Aird tabled the report at the MCG meeting, and said that the meeting recognized that Tasmania is leading the way with regulations such as a cap on the number of poker machines allowed in clubs and pubs.
"The outcomes of the meeting demonstrate what state and Federal governments working together can achieve. I am confident the national approach that has been embraced here today and a subsequent range of new initiatives will enable us to make further headway."
He said a study like the one just published would be carried out every three years.