Shelter WA has joined WACOSS, other peak bodies and community agencies to express our extreme concern about the introduction of simulated racing as a sweetener to the sale of the TAB.
Unlike the Eastern States, Western Australia has prevented the proliferation of electronic gambling machines throughout our community. This legislation will allow countless monitors into the 908 TABs across Western Australia – dramatically increasing the accessibility of gambling in our state. With the odds generic and the winner randomly generated, these so-called ‘simulated racing’ machines have much more in common with pokies than betting on a live race. They are a device to increase how often people are able to bet and so increase people’s exposure to the harmful impacts of gambling.
We are extremely concerned about the lack of engagement with the community on the impact of the changes and about the likelihood of additional harm as a result.
The enabling legislation may have passed, but the WA Government has discretion in how it chooses to proceed. We are urging the government not urge you not to include Trackside as part of the deal, not to expose the community to more opportunities for gambling-related harm, and not to allow the number of TABs, PubTABs and TAB outlets to expand into the future.
A forum is being planned for the end of October with more information to follow.
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