Delay in pre-commitment gaming card will increase harm

The Tasmanian Government’s announcement of 12 month delay to the introduction of the universal, pre-commitment gaming card is disappointing and will result in more Tasmanians being harmed by gambling.

TasCOSS CEO, Ms Adrienne Picone, acknowledged the Tasmanian Government’s commitment to introducing a nation-leading, mandatory card-based system, but in light of the significate delay called on the Government to immediately introduce evidence-based harm reduction measures.

“While disappointed by this delay, we welcome the Government restating its commitment to implementing a pre-commitment gaming card. In the interim, we urge the Government to introduce simple harm reduction design features on poker machine, such as $1 bet limits and slower spin speeds,” Ms Picone said.

“It is estimated that waiting an extra year for the introduction of the pre-commitment card will result in Tasmanians losing an additional $189.1 million to poker machines.

“The evidence shows that the best consumer protections to prevent and reduce gambling‑related harm include a universal, pre-commitment gaming card and safer programming of poker machines.”

Ms Picone said poker machines account for the most gambling-related harm in Tasmania and the number of Tasmanians being harmed is increasing.

“Gambling harm is a public health issue because it affects the health and wellbeing of Tasmanians and their families,” she said.

“Beyond the person experiencing gambling problems, family members, friends, employers and colleagues can also be affected, and as many as one-in-three Tasmanians personally know someone with a serious problem with gambling on poker machines.”