An audit report on problem gambling

johnboy 3 April 2012

After a very long wait the Auditor-General has produced a report, in this case Monitoring and minimising harm caused by problem gambling in the ACT.

Basically they say it’s tricky:

The [ACT Gambling and Racing] Commission has, and continues to, play an important role in shaping the framework intended to minimise harm caused by problem gambling. Audit considers that its efforts to reduce the effects of problem gambling continue to be appropriate and progressive. While this is the case, due to the complexity and inter-action of various factors that affect the prevalence of problem gambling, Audit has not been able to establish a direct relationship between the Commission’s actions and effects on problem gambling in the ACT. Therefore a definitive conclusion regarding the Commission’s effectiveness in monitoring and minimising harm caused by problem gambling in the ACT cannot be made. However, Audit recommendations provide guidance to the Commission for improving its reporting to allow a better understanding of its effectiveness. The recommendations also highlight how improvements can be made to the framework that guides how problem gambling is addressed in the ACT, particularly the need for a review of the Code of Practice, and the need for a strong focus on ensuring that all licensees effectively implement this code. Specifying a time for achieving the cap of 4 000 gaming machines is also recommended.

Or to put it another way, the gaming industry makes its money by preying on people who don’t understand high schools maths and, while they’re happy to apply modish fig leaves, anything they did which was actually effective would put themselves out of business.

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