NSW’s Government Accused of Bowing to Gambling Lobby over Poker Machines
There has been a lot of controversy in New South Wales this month over gambling. On one side, the gambling lobby, which has been very powerful in the state. On the other side, the anti-gambling lobby and social service agencies that treat gambling addicts. The government, facing an upcoming election in March, is stuck in the middle. Recently, the government has been accused of allowing the gambling industry to dictate further regulation poker machines.
New South Wales
New South Wales is one of the most populated states in Australia. The large cities of Sydney and Newcastle are located in New South Wales. It is also a major tourist destination because of Sydney and the national parks in the area. There are about 8 million people in the state. New South Wales has two large casinos, the Star Casino and the Crown Casino. The state also has poker machines in locations throughout the area. Sports betting is also allowed in New South Wales.
There have been two recent controversies in New South Wales about gambling. First, there was a disagreement over the use of the Sydney Opera House to advertise for an upcoming horse race. The opera house has been used to advertise events before. But this event was tied to gambling, so many citizens had a problem with it. The Opera House refused to take the advertisement down.
The second controversy was over an agreement between the New South Wales premier and the gaming company Clubs NSW. The company runs 1,200 venues in the state. The agreement states that the state (if the current premier wins the election) will not increase taxes on gambling. Also, the state has guaranteed that the amount of mandatory contributions from gambling clubs to the state won’t increase. In return, the business agreed to provide extra training for staff to recognize problem gambling. They have also agreed to allow relatives of problem gamblers to have them banned from pokie venues.
The Trouble with Pokies
Video poker machines (or pokies) have been the root of continuing controversy for the last few years in Australia. Many people have complained about the amount of poker machines in the country. Poker machines are everywhere in Australia. They can be found in shopping centers, airports, gas stations, movie theaters, and grocery stores.
The availability of poker machines has been cited as the reason the number of problem gamblers has increased. And also the reason the number of losses by gamblers has increased. Australians are the biggest losers in the world in gambling. The amount of money lost by Australians every year is estimated to average at $1,000. That amount is double the average amount lost by Singaporeans, which is $650 per person on average.
The loss of money has led to criticism of the government because they have refused to address gambling addiction. They refuse to address the social issues caused when problem gamblers try and make up for their losses. These social issues include robbery, embezzlement, and larceny. The government has since agreed to address the issues with problem gambling. But social welfare agencies have argued the government has not done enough to help problem gamblers. The gambling issues are likely to bleed into the upcoming election, which may not be good for the current administration. It remains to be seen if the administration will consider its dealings with video poker shops.
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An energy industry consultant who spends a lot of time on North Sea oil rigs and conducting studies in and around the Arctic Circle. Sean started playing online casino games to compensate for long periods of boredom. In no time he turned from casual player to fan to fanatic and has since made it his mission to study the online casino universe from the players perspective. As a regular participant and contributor to Top Casino Picks, Sean sits in the Top Casino Picks advisory board and oversees our review team.
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