Nick Xenophon, an independent senator in Victoria has claimed that the way to reduce problem gambling and still maintain state revenue from gambling is to set up a national lottery, similar to the one that operates in the UK.
Xenophon claims that lottery is less harmful for the consumer that poker machines – which, he says, get 50% of their revenue from problem gamblers. Lottery revenue is known to be a lighter form of gambling and not as attractive to problem gamblers as addictive pokie games.
The problem for both state and federal governments is finding a way to replace the 10% of their revenue they gain from gambling tax which an option that is more socially responsible. However, Nick Xenophon claims that the biggest pokie addicts of all are the state governments who simply cannot bear the thought of pokie/gambling reform when it could mean losing a sizable chunk of their revenue.
Kevin Rudd is a well known supporter of reducing the number of pokies in Australia and perhaps could be the man to push through the move towards a national lottery style system, however despite commissioning a review of poker machines in Australia through the productivity commission he has yet to make any changes to the gambling law.