Imagine if cigarette makers gave out free packs to target groups to get them hooked and if you were trying to quit smoking and you had a ‘loyalty’ card with your cigarette maker then, when they noticed you had stopped making purchases, they sent you a free pack. That’s what casinos do. Freebies are used to hook people into gambling and keep them hooked. The Greens will stop them.
If the amount of harm that a casino causes a community was in the form of air pollution spewing out over the city, rather than ‘hidden’ in broken homes, crimes, and suicides, then it would be shut down immediately. But the harm is no less real for being less visible.
The Greens are going to do something about it. They’ve selected specific tools to break the problem gambling cycle, which casinos depend upon for 40% of their revenue.
The Greens will stop casinos advertising to self-identified problem gamblers. They will stop casinos giving anyone freebies and other gifts for gambling. And they will make ‘pre-committment’ cards for pokies mandatory – where the maximum loss and maximum playtime are pre-set before the person starts playing.
As I’m writing this, on Breakfast they’re discussing tools to target cancer. It looks to me like the Greens have selected tools to target a cancer at the heart of our cities. Well done.