Lindsay MP, David Bradbury, may not have the support of local clubs for the Federal Government’s poker machine reforms, but he may have a new, unlikely ally in the Opposition.
Former Opposition Leader, Malcolm Turnbull, is part of the Coalition’s working group to design the party’s own pokies reform policy.
An Internet survey conducted by Mr Turnbull has shown that 57.3 per cent of people either agree or strongly agree with the Federal Government’s move to introduce mandatory pre-commitment technology.
If the survey’s results are taken to heart then the Coalition may find itself in agreement with the controversial pokies reforms.
“It must be noted that this survey is not statistically representative of the Australian public, like a Newspoll or Nielsen Poll,” Mr Turnbull said.
7,475 people were surveyed with just over half living in NSW.
The minister said that some of the strongest opposition to mandatory pre-commitment came from people who described themselves as regular poker machine players.
“While just under 35 per cent of the general population either disagree or strongly disagree with mandatory pre-commitment, almost 67 per cent of regular poker machine players either disagree or strongly disagree with the policy,” he said.
However, there is overwhelming support from the general population to limit spins to $1. A startling 47 per cent of survey respondents strongly agree with $1 spin limits and a further 20 per cent agree with the reform.
The majority of respondents also believe more counselling support needs to be provided for gamblers and that live odds should not be broadcast during sports programming.
“Cashed-up gambling interests have been running a very expensive and personal political campaign on this issue, however, I believe that most Australians think that something needs to be done to address the issue of problem gambling,” Mr Bradbury said.
Noticeably, the 21 respondents from the Lindsay electorate trended against the survey results, with Lindsay recording the lowest level of support for both mandatory or voluntary pre-commitment technology and the second lowest level of support for any tinkering with the current Federal poker machine laws.