What strategies are in place to try to reduce problem gambling by limiting the use of Electronic Gambling Machines where you are?
In Australia there is a huge battle taking place between our federal government and pubs and clubs. Most clubs and pubs here have a range of electronic gaming machines (EGMs)(slot machines/pokie or poker machines/Fruit Machines) available for use by gamblers that bring in revenue for the establishments and produce tax revenue for governments. More than AU$10 billion was spent on gambling through EGMs in 2008/2009 and 80% of problem gamblers use EGMs according to the Australian Productivity Commission (Relationships Australia 2011) Link
Our government is proposing legislation that will force gamblers (using pre-commitment technology within all EG machines) to pre-set a limit on how much they want to spend in that session. They will then not be able to bet more than that amount in that session. The aim is to curb problem gambling.
What initiatives (if any) are in place in your state/country to try to counteract problem gambling and do you think asking gamblers (specifically those who use EGMs) to set a limit before they start gambling will help reduce the level of problem gambling? One of the arguments being put forward against this move is that gamblers will instead place bets on horse or dog racing or will find something else to bet on.
Your thoughts on effective measures to reduce problem gambling and if indeed governments should do anything at all?