We must preserve and promote optimum conditions in which the integrity of the family unit can be maintained.

The Fight against Problem Gambling

We must preserve and promote optimum conditions in which the integrity of the family unit can be maintained.

The Christian Democratic Party believes as a civil government, we “must preserve and promote optimum conditions in which the integrity of the family unit can be maintained.” We believe problem gambling does not preserve and promote optimum conditions.

This is why in 2013, the Christian Democratic Party enacted amendments to the Casino Control Amendment (Barangaroo Restricted Gaming Facility) Bill 2013, prohibiting the use of gaming machines (aka “pokies”) in the Barangaroo Restricted Gaming Facility. Pokies are clearly connected to the issue of problem gambling and it is our job to ensure legislation helps protect those in our community when they need it most.

Gaming machines are highly addictive, and contribute significantly to the issue of problem gambling. In a 2012 study, “Gambling in Australia: Experiences, Problems, Research and Policy”, 80% of problem gambling was caused by pokies. Those struggling with gambling are two times more likely to suffer depression, and 18 times more likely to experience severe psychological distress. Problem gambling does not just have a cost for the individual and the family, but puts a burden on the health department too.

An article by Anna Caldwell printed in The Daily Telegraph last month reported that both major parties were against poker machines in the new Barangaroo development. The Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, stated “the government would not shift on the matter of pokies.’ The leader of the opposition, Michael Daley, claims that “under no circumstances would there be pokies”.

I am glad to see that this legislation is being upheld by both major parties, as without it peoples’ health and wellbeing are at stake. The Rev. Hon. Fred Nile and I are committed to using our vote and our voice to ensure the legislation does all it can to “preserve and promote optimum conditions” for families to flourish and thrive.

If this article raises issues for you, or you need help with problem gambling, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.