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Queensland bid to make gambling ‘safer’ for punters, community

Politics

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman has revealed a policy shift from promoting ‘responsible gambling’ to pursuing ‘safer gambling’ in Queensland.

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In a four-year harm minimisation plan, released today, authorities seek to reduce the impact of gambling on people’s lives. That may include stronger regulation and pressure on gambling venues to look after their customers.

Surveys suggest around 70 per cent of Queenslanders gamble. Fentiman acknowledged only a small proportion of those would have a gambling problem but said “we need to ensure that all gamblers are protected from harm”.

“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,” Fentiman said.

“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 said the plan required industry to demonstrate greater social responsibility.

“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’,” Thomson said.

“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.”

The plan comes with a new ad campaign as part of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week.

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