Clubs Australia was the biggest critic of Andrew Wilkie’s plan for poker machine reform. Pumping millions of dollars in anti-reform campaigns, it was apparent that the group did not believe pokie reform would help to curb problem gambling rates across Australia. Now that pokie reform has been scrapped and the dust has cleared, Clubs Australia has proposed its own alternative.
The group has suggested that the local government impose a gambling awareness program in schools across Australia. Clubs Australia believes that education is the key to reducing problem gambling rates, target individuals when they are young so that they do not develop unhealthy gambling habits as adults.
Research has shown that while pre-commitment may not be the most effective way to fight problem gambling, education and counseling are suitable alternatives. It seems that the way to deal with problem gambling is to get to the heart of the issue, ensuring that young people know the risks of gambling from a young age.
Studies have also proven that gambling behaviour is fostered from a very young age across Australia and New Zealand. Many parents encourage their kids to take part in home games and the lottery tickets, likely fostering the development of unrealistic perspectives on gambling.
The new program seeks to educate children in school so that they understand the risks of gambling while they are young. Clubs Australia has proposed that the program is implemented as part of schools’ curriculums – and the idea is gaining a great deal of support.