Bundy awash with gambling despite flood - Govt proposals unlikely to stem the flow
Published on 28 Mar, 2013Media Contact: Matthew Rockloff via 0438 377 625 or
Commenting on news that Bundaberg residents have boosted their poker machine spend despite enduring record flooding, Associate Professor Matthew Rockloff says the latest State Government proposals are unlikely to stem the broader flow of gambling across the State.
Based at CQUniversity's Experimental Gambling Laboratory, Assoc Prof Rockloff says the State Government is describing its latest policy proposals as 'cutting red tape'.
"Simply changing some features of the regulation to be more lax does nothing to cut red tape, however. Bet limits are still in place, for instance, they're just moving the yard-stick higher. Similarly, opening times will still be restricted - but the opening times will be earlier," he says.
"In fact, this is a boldly pro-industry initiative. Our data shows that the public has largely negative views about gambling, and these negative views are even held by people who gamble. As such, this cannot be seen to be a popular set of measures to anyone except the gaming industry."
Assoc Prof Rockloff was commenting on government figures showing Bundaberg's pokie spend in the January-February period has increased from $7.3 million in 2011 to $7.9 million in 2013.
The researcher says this was not a surprise as gambling, like alcohol sales, is remarkably resistant to tough times.