Australia has been well-known for its poker gaming devices which are one of the main reasons why the country spends millions on gambling on an annual basis. It has been recently announced that the region of South Australia is seeing a relative surge in the amount of money players have lost on pokies during the last financial year. The potential political kingmaker Nick Xenophon maintains his position that the poker machine policy should be introduced, and he is going to do so very soon, but he has opted for some changes to it.
The month of March and more precisely the 17th is expected to see the state election which many eagerly anticipate. During the months leading up to it, many political figures have expressed their opinion regarding the continuous issue with pokies and their addictive nature which threatens the well-being of so many Australians. It could be recalled that the month of December saw Mr. Xenophon’s announcement that he is going to propose the new policy prior to the elections and many voters supported this decision. His SA Best party is well on its way to participate in this March’s elections and potentially win positions in the lower house.
According to his most recent statement, he has opted for a milder approach towards the controversial devices, since he considers a wide variety of measures to be applicable in the situation. This would include providing help and advice for the people who are willing to take control over their lives again, as this is the root of the problem. Mr. Xenophon stated that providing adequate assistance for the people who are in need of such is crucial for lowering the number of gambling addicts and people who experience problem gambling issues related to pokies.
What Caused the Slight Change of Approach?
About twenty years ago Mr. Xenophon began his quest to put an end or at least reduce the damage caused by poker machines located across the country and this happened when he gave the green light to his political career on a No Pokies platform. Last month he stated that the most efficient plan for action would be the introduction of a well-rounded anti-pokies policy. This, however, is not going to place the Australian Hotels Association in the best position, as the entity is going to be personally affected by the changes brought by the new regulation.
In the meantime, there is another trend seeing a lot of action in the recent years and this is people who gamble on their phones. Gone are the days when people went to an actual brick-and-mortar facility in order to place their money. Nowadays it all happens via their mobile phones and since the issue is so deeply rooted, experts say that what should be treated is the cause of gambling addiction, not the symptoms. Gambling apps are the thing nowadays which inevitably affects the approach proposed by officials. For comparison, during the last financial years, players have lost A$680.3 million while only 10 years earlier this amount reached A$792.6 million.