Government of Australia
February 26, 2010
Productivity Commission 2010, Vol. 1, No. 50, February 2010
Gambling was substantially liberalised in most Australian states and territories in the 1990s. Subsequent years saw not only a surge in gambling expenditure and industry growth, but also adverse impacts on many Australians and their families. The consequent backlash within the community led to the first independent national public inquiry by the Productivity Commission in 1999.
Since then, there have been significant changes in the gambling industry and its regulatory environment, with a greater policy focus on community awareness and harm prevention and minimisation. Notwithstanding this, community and political concerns remain evident. There have also been developments within parts of the industry, which have a more national character than before. The Council of Australian Governments accordingly asked the Commission to conduct a follow-up review, with a focus on problem gambling and the scope to consider other aspects of the industry.
Consistent with this, the Commission has not sought to replicate the coverage and depth of its earlier research, but rather to concentrate on providing evidence-based advice to governments about policies that would improve outcomes for gamblers and the community as a whole. A key challenge is to identify policies most likely to be effective in reducing the harms associated with gambling, while preserving most of the benefits. This is a complex task for public policy. The coverage and design of regulation require particular care to ensure that the benefits exceed the costs, and that account is taken of what is often imperfect evidence.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 632
Keywords: gambling, casinos, games, lotteriesAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: August 2, 2010
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