The move to exempt lotteries from the credit card ban on gambling is disappointing and reflects the Federal Government’s failure to understand the nature and experience of gambling harm, the Alliance for Gambling Reform, CEO, Carol Bennett said.
Ms Bennett said, “Some lotteries, including games like KenoGO, offer people the chance to win millions of dollars every few minutes. They run hundreds of games a day, creating the potential to cause great harm. This harm will be exacerbated as lotteries increasingly move online.”
The Alliance is also highly critical of the move to exclude lotteries from the government’s own gambling self-exclusion register.
“This means people that have signed up to exclude themselves from gambling can still gamble online on lotteries products spending up to $10,000 a time on tickets or on lotteries like KenoGO where you place a bet every three minutes,” Ms Bennett said.
“All the evidence, and the testimony from people with lived experience, show that these forms of gambling do not represent a low-level of harm. We are not talking about a weekly $5 quick pick here.”
Ms Bennett said the decision followed another disappointing government decision to set the legal age for games which have gambling components in them, such as loot boxes, at 15.
“We are not protecting our young people, many of whom tell us that gamification of gambling was their pathway towards a longer-term, serious gambling problem.”
Ms Bennett said she hoped the government would be better informed about gambling harm in framing its response to the online gambling parliamentary inquiry which includes recommendations for reforms including a ban on all gambling advertising phased in over three years.
“We’ re concerned that the government will not seize the opportunity to reduce gambling harm in Australia, that it will continue to listen only to the powerful and predatory gambling industry along with other groups profiting from Australia’s world leading gambling losses,” she said.
Media contact: Martin Thomas – 0477 340 704