Australian Government’s Commitment to Help Problem Gamblers

Legislative Changes

On 25 March 2014 the Parliament passed amendments to the National Gambling Reform Act 2012, and repealed the National Gambling Reform (Related Matters) Act (No. 1) 2012 and the National Gambling Reform (Related Matters) Act (No. 2) 2012. The Acts are replaced by the Gambling Measures Act 2012 which took effect on receiving Royal Assent on 31 March 2014. You can find more information on the ComLaw website.

The changes deliver the Government’s commitment to reduce regulatory duplication between governments, and restore control over the placement and withdrawal limits of ATMs in gaming venues to the States. The changes include abolishing the National Gambling Regulator and its associated supervisory levy, as well as removing requirements to implement the state-linked voluntary pre-commitment, mandatory pre-commitment capability and dynamic warnings requirements on gaming machines. It is important to note that while Commonwealth laws have changed, you must still comply with State and Territory Government laws.

In its place is a commitment to work with our stakeholders to implement venue-based voluntary pre-commitment and gaming machine capability in realistic timeframes. This includes consultation with stakeholders on the development and implementation of a venue-based pre-commitment scheme that has the capability to connect to a State or Territory-wide pre commitment scheme that operates within that State or Territory.

Provisions relating to the establishment of the Australian Gambling Research Centre (AGRC) are retained. The AGRC is responsible for pursuing a long-term national research plan on practical ways to reduce harm from problem gambling. You can find more information about the AGRC on the Australian Institute of Family Studies website.

Policy Focus

The Government remains committed to helping problem gamblers by developing nationally consistent minimum standards in the provision of support for problem gamblers that are administered by the States. This approach will consider best practice approaches to gambling harm minimisation across the spectrum of gambling products, from gaming machines to online gambling.

The Government is committed to implementing preventative measures that are available and useful for all gamblers, and treatment options to help those experiencing harm. This includes venue-based voluntary pre-commitment, more and better targeted counselling and support services, more effective self-exclusion schemes, a strong and safer online gambling environment and banning lines of credit.

The Government will continue to work with industry (through the Industry Advisory Council on Gambling), State and Territory Governments, academia and the community sector to deliver real, meaningful and measurable support for problem gamblers.

Current Activities

Queensland Trial of Dynamic Warning Messages

The Australian Government, with the assistance of industry and the Queensland Government, conducted the first live trial of dynamic warning messages on electronic gaming machines.  The trial tested a suite of messages in five venues across South-East Queensland.  To see the findings of the trial, please view the report; Trial of Dynamic Warning Messages on Electronic Gaming Machines.

Support Services

Gambling Help Online

Visit the Gambling Help Online website to find out more about free online counselling, including live chat and email support, self-help advice, and information available to anyone seeking support for a gambling concern in a confidential environment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Telephone support

You can get immediate assistance by calling the National Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858 for free, professional and confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Problem Gambling Website

Visit the Problem Gambling website for information about the impacts of problem gambling in Australia.

Financial Counselling to Support People Affected by Problem Gambling

Visit the Department’s Commonwealth Financial Counselling webpage for more detail on this initiative.

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