Queensland in policy shift to pursue safer gambling

By Peter Lynch

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman says Queensland will shift from promoting ‘responsible gambling’ to pursuing ‘safer gambling’.

Authorities are aiming to reduce the impact of gambling on people’s lives in the state through a four-year harm minimisation plan, which may include stronger regulation and more pressure on gambling operators to look after their customers.

Recent surveys suggest that around 70% of Queenslanders gamble, and while Fentiman says that only a small proportion of that total may have a gambling problem, she believes that all gamblers must be protected.

“There is no doubt that gambling is a complex social issue that not only impacts the gambler themself, but their family, workplace and the wider community,” said Fentiman.

“The harm can also have a ripple effect across all aspects of life – with relationships, mental health and finances falling victim.”

Liquor and Gaming Commissioner Victoria Thomson added significant progress has already been achieved in this area in the state, but emphasises that there is still more that can be done. Thomson noted that early identification of potential problem gamblers is key when preventing harm.

“We need to broaden our focus beyond ‘the problem gambler’ and focus our attention on preventing harm before it occurs by identifying those at risk and intervening early,” said Thomson.

“Significant work has already been done to prevent and minimise gambling-related harm in Queensland, but I also know that by shifting focus, acknowledging new trends and technologies and working as a team we can go so much further to protect people.”

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