Comments attributable to Rev Stu Cameron, CEO and Superintendent, Wesley Mission
Yet again, another inquiry has revealed shocking evidence of illegal financial behaviour and callous disregard for protecting people from the harms caused by gambling. And although four inquiries have found casino operators to be unsuitable to hold a licence, no licence has yet been cancelled.
Wesley Mission is working with the community to ensure that in future the social licence for gambling operators is not taken for granted.
Wesley Mission can see that there has been a change in public policy. Both the Bergin and Bell reports were quickly released in full, which is a welcome sign of a change in attitude to an overly powerful industry.
Philip Crawford, as Chief Commissioner of the newly established NSW Independent Casino Commission (NICC) has exercised his new power to release the full report, because he recognised that this level of transparency is in the public interest.
In the days ahead, we will be analysing this extensive and detailed report. Wesley Mission will continue making representations to the NICC regarding harm minimisation, including ensuring that any move to cashless gambling incorporates strong harm prevention measures.
All of these inquiries have had money laundering at their core; still, Wesley Mission’s focus is on harm minimisation, which we see in our work across NSW, where gambling harm often leads to homelessness, relationship breakdown, mental and physical ill health, and financial stress.
For media reporting on gambling harm, please strongly consider including help-seeking information:
- You can find support information on the GambleAware website: https://www.gambleaware.nsw.gov.au/i-need-support
- Speak to a counsellor 24 hours a day via the GambleAware Helpline on 1800 858 858
- Counselling is confidential and free of charge and is available to both individuals and family members experiencing gambling harm.