While Wesley Mission CEO and Superintendent, Rev Stu Cameron, applauds the Minns government, prompt introduction of legislation banning political donations from Clubs in NSW, he stresses the need for increased gambling reforms in the face of a looming public health crisis.
“The banning of political donations from Clubs in NSW is an important reform to help reduce the negative influence that the gambling lobby has had over successive NSW governments for many years”‘, says Cameron.
“We welcome this important reform, and hope it is the first of many reforms in NSW over this new term of parliament that will not only address the influence of the gambling lobby but will also help reduce the record levels of gambling harm in NSW.”
Cameron says the key reform to addressing gambling harm in NSW will be the introduction of a mandatory cashless gambling card.
“We look forward to speaking with Gaming and Racing Minister Harris to congratulate him personally on this important reform bill introduced today, and about other important measures the Minns Government can introduce over the next four years.”
“A cashless card as recommended by the NSW Crime Commission will not only prevent money laundering but be a game changer for reducing gambling harm by allowing people to set safe and manageable loss limits on poker machines.
Poker machine losses have increased approximately 50% (48.87%) in the five years to 2022 with poker machines plundering more than $8.1 billion from people in NSW last year, according to Wesley Mission analysis of ILGA (Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority) data.
“A trial of 500 of NSW’s 86,000 poker machines isn’t necessary. The evidence is there that a cashless card will work.”
Wesley Mission provides practical care and support for more than 130,000 people annually in NSW and across Australia, including help for people experiencing homelessness, local community action groups preventing suicide, and gambling and financial counselling among more than 120 programs. www.wesleymission.org.au
Wesley Mission is currently running the ‘Pokies. You’re Being Played’ campaign to keep poker machine reform on the agenda as the new parliament begins next month. People can make a stand to support poker machine reform by signing up at:
Rev Stu Cameron is available for interview.