Fewer pokies, help for gambling addicts


p2160-Natasha-FylesThe government is lowering of the cap on community gaming machines in the Territory from 1852 to 1734, according to Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Natasha Fyles (pictured).
She says a multi-venue self-exclusion system will soon be rolled out.
“Gambling amelioration” grants totalling $7.6m over five years will include $3.4m for Amity Community Services and their gambling harm minimisation and education programs, and $3.5m for Somerville Community Services and their financial counselling and gambling related issues programs.
There will be three years of funding to Holyoake in Alice Springs for their project which provides support to children impacted by gambling.
“The chaotic former CLP Government failed to deliver a gambling prevalence survey and then, without consultation, dramatically increased the number of gaming machines in our community venues,” says Ms Fyles.
“It was an important election commitment by the Territory Labor Government to restore the cap on community gaming machines. When we came to Government, we delivered this immediately – and today we are taking the opportunity to lower the cap.”
There will also be a multi-venue self-exclusion system and capacity for counselling providers to “input patrons they are supporting to self-exclude, thereby not requiring the patron to attend the venue; facilitate referrals to counselling providers; record when a patron attempts to breach their self-exclusion, and prompt contact with the counselling provider; and multi-lingual support information including a range of Aboriginal languages,” says a media release.
Pubs and clubs are now able to consider the use of cards or ticket-in-ticket-out systems.


  1. The better idea would be to have a greater variety of entertainment – the control again dismisses ideas that will work for those that won’t.
    The entertainment over all age groups and all types. Where are the drunks in Sadadeen, and are all the Aboriginals hanging around the pubs and casinos drunk or are they just uneducated and needing something to do?
    Some of these religious and political freaks think that to put people on cards like Basic and Indue fixes the problem – however more money for those on the lowest incomes would go a long way to encouraging people to try better themselves and get out of the addiction cycle. Even church attendance can become an addiction.
    List all entertainment in Alice Springs and see what we lack – then go out and get some of it going for people to enjoy.
    The only real things to do are the cinema, the speedway, and the Aboriginal art, plus Finke and Aruleun, and football, golf.
    Many of these cost a fortune to go to, many are once a year and many involve Aboriginal art and once you have seen it a couple of times it is boring.

  2. Bev Emmott, I don’t understand some of your comments, but I get the drift. “Where are the drunks in Sadadeen,” indeed?
    Maybe you could try some of these activities?
    Swimming, athletics, archery, shooting, motorbike riding, keeping bees, knitting, embroidery, playing pool, darts, training dogs, raising birds, keeping cats,
    following non-Aboriginal art at Araluen, the Art Shed and elsewhere, doing painting, visiting the prisoners, assisting the disabled, helping young single mums, volunteer work, making sculpture, writing, cooking, helping Maureen York, soothing Matthew Langdan’s feelings, dining out, dining in with friends, cycling, walking, running, netball … etc etc etc.
    There are not enough hours in the day, or days in the week, or weeks in the year!

  3. I would hazard a guess that if we included all the consequences of gambling, from embezzlement and occasional incarceration at one end to child neglect and even the health consequences of poor diet in the gambler and family resulting from pokie addiction, that gambling in the NT is effectively a way of transferring cash from the poor to wealthy interstate shareholders.
    The NT governemnt may be pleased with its taxation revenue, but undoubtedly racks up a lot of hard-to-measure costs on the other side of the ledger, which may well represent a net loss in dollar terms, let alone in social ones.
    Can anybody point me to a credible analysis of the cost / benefit to the community of gambling in the NT?

  4. Yep. Reduce the number of cars and there will be fewer car crashes too.
    We have a habit of trying to solve issues from the effects rather than the causes, and we continue to go round in circles and spend millions in the process.
    Gambling is a way of life, good or bad.
    It’s been around forever and will be around forever.
    For those who haven’t heard of Broard Arrow near Kalgoorlie, it was an out of the way to play two up and not be caught by the law. It’s now a bit of a tourist attraction.
    People will find a way and place to gamble even if all the pokies are removed.
    Surely education and treatment are the keys!


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