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“Red tape reduction” pokies threat

A review of the Queensland Government’s poker machine ‘red tape reduction’ initiative has found it increases gambling revenue at the expense of the most disadvantaged people in our communities.

The Anglican Church Southern Queensland office has released a Monash University analysis of the red tape reduction program on pokies, which was touted by the State Government as an exercise in reducing the administrative burden on operators.

The report found the changes would increase the level of harm to Queenslanders; encourage organised crime through less government scrutiny; damage Queensland’s reputation as responsible regulator of poker machines; and enable a take-over of super clubs geared to make money.

“The level of harm experienced by Queenslanders from (the pokies) is likely to increase, and may do so significantly, particularly in more disadvantaged regions of the state,” said report author Dr Charles Livingstone, from the School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine at Monash University.

“Of course, were this to occur, gambling revenue is also likely to increase. This is of course a benefit to gambling operators and to the State Treasury.

“The original intention of the club, to provide a specific social or sporting focus, is very likely to be lost (and) the risks of increased gambling harm associated with this change are high.”

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