Wesley Mission Call for Sustainable Poker Machine Reform

Wesley Mission are continuing to encourage Australians on the poker machine reform in an attempt to help the thousands of people with gambling addictions across the country. This comes in the wake of the announcement that the Government plan to make changes to its earlier plans on the gambling issue.

Wesley Mission help thousands of people each year, and offer a gambling counseling service alongside emotional, financial and legal support. Gambling addiction can effect the whole family, and in extreme circumstances can see people lose their homes, or even take their own lives.

CEO at Weseley Mission, Rev Dr Keith Garner, has suggested that a trip to one of their gambling counselling sessions by those involved in the reform process could be in order. There they can see first hand the devastating impact gambling has on those with the addiction, and their families.

Dr Garner said –

They could gain a deeper appreciation of the issue and learn first-hand from the clients and counsellors about the most effective ways to reverse the downward spiral of gambling addiction. Sadly, poker machine addiction is too often a damaging factor in these people’s lives. They can’t control the impulse to gamble even when they know it is hurting them and their loved ones. It is critical to this work, and the welfare of thousands of families across the country, that our decision-makers demonstrate informed leadership and support effective, sustainable reform on this issue.

Since the Gambling inquiry report in June 2010, there are stronger calls to lower the bet limit to around $1 per ‘button push’ instead of the current $5-$10. Wesley Mission agrees with this recommendation if coupled with gambling counselling and education to address its significant impact in the community.

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