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Australia: 'Inaction' over pokies spending angers senators

10 November 2008

AUSTRALIA -- As reported by The Age: "Cross-bench senators are furious at what they call the Federal Government's inaction on problem gambling after it decided to ignore legislation that would further restrict spending on poker machines.

"Several bills that would have restricted gamblers' access to ATMs, banned banknote acceptors on machines and limited bets and payouts have been rejected by Government senators on the committee reviewing the bill.

"...The committee found that poker machines were a problem for 85% of problem gamblers and that half of all revenue came from just 2% of gamblers, but said that any further action should be delayed until a Productivity Commission report was completed in a year.

"The Labor majority on the committee found that "an evidence-based policy approach is the best strategy to addressing the harms caused through problem gambling" and recommended the bills "not be passed at this time"..."

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