Tuesday December 10,2013 : GILLARD GAMBLING REFORMS REVERSED IN AUSTRALIA
But new Coalition government of Tony Abbot is set to tighten up on internet gambling
In an astonishing about-turn on gambling reforms implemented by the former Labor government of Julia Gillard, the new Australian coalition government headed by Tony Abbot is about to reverse a number of land gambling laws…apparently with Labor support.
The Guardian newspaper reports that Labor will support moves to water down national poker machine reforms it legislated in the previous parliament.
The Abbott government’s social services and other legalization amendment bill outlines a slew of changes in gambling laws.
The bill presented by Abbott’s social services minister, Kevin Andrews, seeks to abolish the National Gambling Regulator, the automatic teller machine withdrawal limit, supervisory and gaming machine regulation levies, dynamic warning provisions and the trial on mandatory pre-commitment technology, the newspaper reports.
Andrews has justified the removal of certain measures that he argues overlap with state and territory regulatory powers.
All the usual Australian anti-gambling critics have reacted with outrage to the new direction, using the media to voice their disappointment, anger and prophecies of compulsive gambling.
Jenny Macklin, Labor frontbencher and former community services minister under Gillard is said to be "deeply, deeply distressed" by the new developments, and commented earlier this month:
“These were meaningful reforms aimed at tackling problem gambling. The bill before us removes all of the measures contained within the National Gambling Reform Act that would help problem gamblers. Despite this, Labor continues to support meaningful measures to tackle problem gambling in our communities.”
Online gambling is unlikely to benefit from the new government's approach to gambling – new prime minister Tony Abbot told parliamentarians at question time last week that he intended to apply tough new measures against internet gambling.