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Analysis and Comment (17)

Crown Limited, the casino empire majority owned by James Packer, earned $490 million in profit in the last financial year – no wonder he’s laughing. Crown Limited, the casino empire majority owned by James Packer, earned $490 million in profit in the last financial year – no wonder he’s laughing. AAP/Dean Lewins

Who wins from ‘Big Gambling’ in Australia?

The Conversation is running a series, Class in Australia, to identify, illuminate and debate its many manifestations. Here, Francis Markham and Martin Young explain why the deregulation of gambling in…
It is easy – and inaccurate – to suggest that Aboriginal gambling is just one more problem associated with remote Indigenous communities that needs to be fixed. It is easy – and inaccurate – to suggest that Aboriginal gambling is just one more problem associated with remote Indigenous communities that needs to be fixed. Martin Young

Aboriginal gambling: a question of addiction or resource redistribution?

“Aboriginal gambling” has become something of a hot-button issue in recent years. A number of academic research articles have documented the “risk factors” for Aboriginal people that increase their likelihood…
It’s hardly surprising the Coalition would baulk at costly regulation in the gambling industry. It’s hardly surprising the Coalition would baulk at costly regulation in the gambling industry. Flickr/Marionzetta

Coalition must pre-commit to addressing problem gambling

The future of Australia’s pokies pre-commitment scheme – which enables players to set a limit on how much they’re prepared to lose – is in doubt, with Labor likely to support the Coalition’s move to repeal…
The Coalition’s policy to combat problem gambling is treatment focused, excludes potential online competitors and makes no funding commitment. What influenced its creation? The Coalition’s policy to combat problem gambling is treatment focused, excludes potential online competitors and makes no funding commitment. What influenced its creation? AAP/Dan Peled

Coalition ‘problem gambling’ policy: putting the fox in charge of the henhouse?

The Coalition has released its policy “to help problem gamblers” under that very title. If the betting markets are any guide, the Coalition is poised to win government on September 7, so the likelihood…
Despite stated intentions otherwise, are poker machines at James Packer’s planned second Sydney casino at Barangaroo inevitable? Despite stated intentions otherwise, are poker machines at James Packer’s planned second Sydney casino at Barangaroo inevitable? AAP/Dean Lewins

Packer’s Barangaroo Casino and the inevitability of pokies

When is a casino not a casino? According to NSW premier Barry O’Farrell, who last week approved James Packer’s Crown Limited bid to establish Sydney’s second casino, a casino isn’t a casino without pokies…
Pokies- rather than individuals - form the backbone of Australia’s gambling problem. Pokies- rather than individuals - form the backbone of Australia’s gambling problem. AAP/Dan Peled

Responsible gambling and the spectacle of the ‘problem gambler’

Institutions that make big money out of gambling – such as governments, casinos, clubs and pubs – are fond of telling us how much they care about problem gambling. Clubs Australia (the peak body for the…
Gambling tax reform should be a part of a gambling harm minimisation tax package. Gambling tax reform should be a part of a gambling harm minimisation tax package.

Why tax reform can help reduce problem gambling

Gambling provides Australian state governments with an average of 7.3% of their own taxes, about $5147 million, according to ABS data for 2010-11. Victoria (10.8%) and New South Wales (8.6%) earn above…
Evidence shows most people did not gamble away their carbon tax compensation, despite media claims at the time. Evidence shows most people did not gamble away their carbon tax compensation, despite media claims at the time. AAP

We got fed a line but carbon tax compo wasn’t ‘swallowed’ by pokies

Like many policy issues in Australia, the public debate and media coverage on the relationship between government payments and spending at electronic gaming machines or ‘pokies’ is sensationalist and exaggerated…
Obesity, over-diagnosis, the NDIS, vaccinations and open access for genetic information were just some of the issues covered in 2012. Obesity, over-diagnosis, the NDIS, vaccinations and open access for genetic information were just some of the issues covered in 2012. Kylie May; shutterstock.com; Morberg; Pranjal Mahn

2012, the year that was: Health + Medicine

It promised to be a full year of reforms: pokies legislation, front-of-pack food labels and a dental system that doesn’t cost those in need an arm and a leg. But while we did see cigarette companies forced…
The government’s reforms to gambling this week, including to the pokie machines seen here, have been described as “watered-down”. The government’s reforms to gambling this week, including to the pokie machines seen here, have been described as “watered-down”. AAP/Paul Jeffers

Gambling research centre: more research or more delay?

In an agreement announced on Wednesday, the Greens indicated support for the Australian government’s legislation (described almost ubiquitously in the press as “watered-down”) on poker machine pre-commitment…
“Fairfax looks very exciting,”: mining magnate Clive Palmer expresses an interest in media. “Fairfax looks very exciting,”: mining magnate Clive Palmer expresses an interest in media. AAP

When the powerful buy into the media, can the media still scrutinise the powerful?

The mining industry is used to having its voice heard in Australian public debates, so it should come as no surprise that mining billionaires such as Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer would consider buying…
Apart from minor changes, action has been delayed until 2017. Apart from minor changes, action has been delayed until 2017. OctopusHat

Pokies reforms explained: how good intentions were derailed

Tension around pokies reform came to a head on Saturday when Prime Minister Julia Gillard broke her agreement with independent Tasmanian MHR Andrew Wilkie to implement timely reforms to address problem…
Andrew Wilkie has withdrawn his support for the Gillard government. Andrew Wilkie has withdrawn his support for the Gillard government. AAP/David Beniuk

Gillard bets the house while Wilkie walks over pokie reform

The Gillard government finds itself in the same position it held at the start of 2011. The withdrawal of support from independent Andrew Wilkie means that, like this time last year, the government holds…
Andrew Wilkie must decide whether to walk away from the Gillard government. Andrew Wilkie must decide whether to walk away from the Gillard government. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Gillard’s pokie rethink shows weakness while Wilkie wavers

As speculation about Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s commitment to gambling reform grows, Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie is weighing up the pros and cons of a compromise deal with the government. Wilkie…
Cate Blanchett is among the celebrities pressed into service to persuade us on political issues. Cate Blanchett is among the celebrities pressed into service to persuade us on political issues. AAP/WWF

Selling the political message: What makes a good advert?

MEDIA & DEMOCRACY: This afternoon, Andrew Hughes examines which recent political adverts have been a success, as part of The Conversation’s week-long series on how the media influences the way our…
Could “antiusability” be incorporated into gaming machines? Could “antiusability” be incorporated into gaming machines? awwstin

Want to curb problem gambling? Make pokies harder to play

GAMBLING IN AUSTRALIA – Addiction to gaming machines (or “pokies”) is of growing concern in Australian society. In Victoria alone there are 30,000 of these hi-tech poker machines with many in suburban…

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