Church leaders implore MPs to back gambling card

Gamblers are losing $18 million a day to gaming machines in New South Wales (Bigstock)

Church leaders are pleading with MPs to back the New South Wales Government’s plans for a state-issued gambling card, warning that harm minimisation measures are grossly inadequate. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.

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The Government wants to move to completely cashless poker machines and require players to register for a gambling card in the most significant gaming reforms in the state’s history.

The changes would mean gamblers must register and pre-load money to the card, which would operate in a similar way to cashless Opal cards for public transport.

Senior cabinet minister Victor Dominello – who has responsibility for gaming – has extended the consultation period for draft harm minimisation laws until December 11.

A signed letter from senior faith leaders, including Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP and Sydney Anglican Archbishop Glenn Davies, calls on MPs to back the “bold reform”.

The letter says the pandemic was a stark reminder that people needed to be kept safe. It says that people in NSW saved $1.2 billion when machines were switched off this year. They were switched back on in June and now losses to the machines are back up to $18 million a day.

The letter, also co-signed by Hillsong pastor Brian Houston and Uniting Church moderator Simon Hansford, urges MPs to “seize this opportunity” historic reform.

FULL STORY

Church leaders urge MPs to back gambling card (By Alexandra Smith, Sydney Morning Herald

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