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Archbishop welcomes SA poker machine reduction

Adelaide's Archbishop Philip Wilson has praised the South Australian Government for its initiative to eliminate 3000 poker machines from the state's hotels and clubs.

The machines will be removed from the hotel and club premises if a conscience vote in State Parliament endorses a 20% reduction in gaming machine numbers.

"Any reduction in access to methods of gambling can only help the problem," he said. "And while this reduction is a good start, it is one of a number of measures needed to minimise the harm done by problem gambling."

Gambling Minister Jay Weatherill will draw up legislation over the next few weeks to reduce poker machines from 15,000 to 12,000, in line with recommendations of the Independent Gambling Authority report into poker machine numbers.

Archbishop Wilson said: "We're very pleased to hear of this significant initiative and I look forward to continuing to work with the government to further alleviate the difficulties faced by problem gamblers.

"There are no doubt complexities in managing such a scaling down of the number of poker machines and this need to be done carefully but in saying that the initiative is important in the community response to problem gambling."

The archbishop said that other measures to deal with problem gambling include looking at codes of practice for gambling providers in terms of responsible gambling measures as well as the advertising code of practice.

Last April, Hobart Archbishop Adrian Doyle commended the Tasmanian Government on its decision to cap the number of gaming machines. He said the Government had achieved a balance between its responsibility to protect its gaming tax revenue and its obligation to protect the poor and those vulnerable to gambling addiction.

Archbishop welcomes poker machine reduction (Catholic Communications Adelaide 16/2/04)
3000 pokies to be axed (The Advertiser 17/2/04)

Tasmanian archbishop welcomes gambling cap (CathNews 16/4/03)
Archdiocese of Adelaide
SkyCity Casino Adelaide
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17 Feb 2004