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Australia likely to reform poker machine gambling

05-06-2011 14:26 BJT

CANBERRA, May 6 (Xinhua) -- An inquiry into problem gambling on Friday threw support to Australian federal government proposed poker machine reforms.

The inquiry was triggered by Tasmanian independent lawmaker Andrew Wilkie, who has vowed to tackle the growing problem of poker machine addiction.

Wilkie said he will withdraw his support for the minority government unless the issue is tackled to his satisfaction.

Earlier, the federal government proposed to introduce a new technology, known as a mandatory pre-commitment system, which aimed to limit the amount of money that an individual can put through poker machine. It requires all players to set their maximum loss before they start gambling, and the poker machine will lock out when limits are reached.

The joint parliamentary committee report, tabled on Friday, said it was possible to put in place the mandatory pre-commitment system by 2014.

The inquiry found pokies addiction led to "children going hungry, family breakdowns, homes and businesses lost, relationships damaged and, most tragically, suicide".

It said a mandatory pre-commitment scheme would intervene to "stop individuals and their families from reaching desperate circumstances" and ensure all Australians learned healthier gambling behaviors.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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