Thank you to the member for Goldstein for bringing forward this motion. Gambling and its many harms are of great concern, and we are seeing huge amounts of money spent on gambling advertising. With that, we’re seeing kids and young people and others exposed to gambling ads at a level that I doubt we’ve ever seen before and that I know many in our community do find concerning.

I’ve seen this in my own life, as I know many parents have. I recently sat down with my five-year-old daughter—it was the first time we let her stay up late to watch the footy on the TV. She is a Cats supporter—that’s not my fault; that’s her father’s fault. But she stayed up late, and I was really shocked sitting there with my five-year-old to see so many ads and having to explain to her what those were about. So I, like many families, get that, and our government understands that we do need to minimise the harm associated with online gambling and gambling advertising as an absolute priority.

Across my community, I have had people tell me about their experiences of gambling and how worried they are for beloved ones who were struggling to break out of their gambling addiction. I recently sent out a community survey, and, in response, a Greensborough man told me that one of his biggest priorities for our government was that we address the intensive and unrelenting gambling advertising that we are bombarded with. He said that one family member of his was in danger of losing her house as a result of gambling addiction.

In the same survey, a woman from Heidelberg told me that with all the advertising just everywhere and on so many sites, especially online, sportsgrounds and the television, it’s a real worry to watch. She was particularly concerned with the take-up of gambling among younger generations in our community.

In the same survey a man from Viewbank told me about the impact gambling addiction has had in his household. He said that his 19-year-old son has lost about $20,000 between last year and this year. This young son only earns $500 a week as an apprentice cabinetmaker. This man explained that all his son had to do was download the apps and create an account, and his son was, in his opinion, addicted to the apps.

So we do see these harms in our community, and our government is very much aware of the harm that is being created. To these locals and to the many others across Jagajaga who I know are deeply and rightly concerned about the prevalence of gambling, I want to assure you that our government is committed to taking action. At the moment my good friend the member for Dunkley is chairing an inquiry into online gambling and its impacts on those experiencing gambling harm. I am really looking forward to seeing what I know will be serious and well-thought-through recommendations from that inquiry in the coming months. It is important that we address this issue and that we address it in a way where we have considered all the evidence before that committee before we act on those recommendations. Our government is eagerly awaiting that report and its recommendations in order to give them the consideration that they deserve. I know that many members of that committee are here in the chamber. Thank you for the work you are doing on behalf of all of us in that committee.

We do recognise that it’s not only people who are gambling who are impacted by gambling harm. The impact of significant problem gambling typically extends to around six other people. Moderate-risk gamblers affect up to three other people, and low-risk gamblers affect one other person. So when we see those ripple effects across our community we know this is not something we can have as situation normal. We do need to make improvements. We do need to make sure that what we have in place protects members of our community from harm.

Our government is committed to protecting consumers, their families and their communities from gambling harm, particularly that caused by problem online wagering. It is work we have already started. We have been taking action to reduce the impacts of problem gambling. We have already banned the use of credit cards for online gambling, bringing online wagering into line with land based gambling, where that rule was in fact already in place. We have implemented new taglines, mandated activity statements and committed to delivering a national exclusion register. These are important measures that will help to build a better culture of responsibility on the part of organisations in this industry.

It is clear that our community wants to see changes to online gambling and related issues. They can see, like those of us in this place, that we have to take action on this. Our government has started the work. We do know there is much more to do. I do really look forward to seeing the recommendations of the inquiry in the coming months to see how best we can make this change to reduce gambling harm for people right across our country.

Scroll to Top