“Minimum bet limits of $30 for baccarat, $20 for blackjack and $25 for roulette are much too small,” said Dr Christopher Hunt, a psychologist at the clinic.
“The clients we see with gambling problems are betting much more than this. They are losing $50-$100 on each hand, sometimes even a lot more than that. And these clients are not what anyone would consider to be high rollers – they are students, they are taxi and bus drivers, they are new immigrants.”
“Having these minimum bet sizes will in no way stop everyday Australians from losing a lot more than they intended to.”
Dr Hunt also raised concerns about whether the proposed ‘members only’ policy of the casino and its 24-hour ‘cooling off period’ would have any impact.
“A VIP membership-only policy with such a short cooling off period only makes gambling more attractive. It will make gambling seem more glamorous and exciting, which we know is a factor in the development of gambling problems.”
He also added that very little consultation with problem gambling experts appeared to have been conducted prior to the casino’s approval.
Verity Leatherdale: (02) 9351 4312, 0403 067 342 or [email protected]
Dr Christopher Hunt: 0409 657 400