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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Wednesday, 8 December 2010) . . Page.. 5978 ..


… only a small proportion of gamblers (5.2%) reported gambling on EGMs alone.

That is, electronic gaming machines. The report goes on. Overall, the ANU research concluded:

It is not possible to attach the problems reported by an individual to just one particular activity.

And members need to go to page 45 to see that. It is there in the second paragraph. But we are proceeding with this one-cap-fits-all solution and it is unfortunate that we are doing that. The ANU research also concluded:

… it is difficult to characterise gamblers by the type of activities they report or to investigate the potential benefits or harms attributable to any particular form of gambling.

That is covered on page 104 of the report. Whom would we believe? The ANU with rigorous methodology and contemporary findings or Ms Hunter with her claims?

We then go to the question of the number of problem gamblers. You have to question some of the numbers that were used. The problem then is that we have actually changed the way in which we measure who is a problem gambler. We have gone from one method to another and we are now using the Canadian method. Ms Hunter, in her tabling speech, quoted 6,000 people with significant gambling problems. But the ANU report found that problem gamblers comprised 0.5 per cent of the adult population or, in the new method, about 1,370 gamblers. Ms Hunter was relying on data from 2001. Again, it shows the flaw of this rushed approach that we have got. The picture appears more positive in terms of the number of problem gamblers.

There are a couple of other statistics but I am going to run out of time in this part. I will simply continue this speech when we get to my amendments. But my point is—and I think it is valid, it is borne out by the report—this is ad hoc. This is rushed. This will not be the solution that people think it is and we need to approach this very cautiously, without giving the impression that somehow we have solved this problem with one great big tax. That is not the answer and it never will be.

Amendment agreed to.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.14): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 2 at page 6040].

This says that the commission must consult with a gaming advisory board established under the Gambling and Racing Control Act. It is very important that we actually get good advice about what is going on in the industry and it is very important that we get good advice from other sectors that support the industry in helping to deal with problem gambling to make sure that we get this right. It is in fact an approach that we have just taken to the Liquor Act where there is a Liquor Advisory Board and I think it is very sensible that the commission has this sort of access and that it is there to


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