When Andrew Wilkie introduced his pokie reform solution to address Australia’s gambling addiction problem, the idea was met with a great deal of resistance. Clubs, politicians and gaming organizations all rejected the initiative, which would require players to set their own betting limits before playing on poker machines.
Politicians presented several alternatives to Wilkie’s reform, but those, too, are having a hard time gaining steam. Recently, the Greens introduced a $1 betting limit, which would restrict players from placing wagers in excess of that amount on poker machines. Tony Windsor and Nick Xenophon quickly got behind the idea, agreeing that it would be more affordable and effective that pokie reform.
"I think we should have a serious look at what the $1 bet means in terms of being able to achieve an outcome without the capital cost of mandatory pre-commitment”, says Windsor. Although the $1 betting limit scheme has gained a great deal of political support, clubs across Australia are still not convinced.
A Clubs Australia spokesperson told The Australian that the idea would be nearly as expensive to implement as Wilkie’s pokie reform while being just as ineffective. According to studies, problem gamblers do not wager more than $1 per spin, so they scheme would not deal with the country’s rising rates of gambling addiction.
Clubs Australia believes that gambling reform should deal with the causes of addiction rather than restructuring the current gambling market.