Interest conflicts for reopening the Australian gaming industry

  • Copy URL
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
Peter Brandt 8. May 2020

Despite the continuing Corona pandemic, the gambling working group is planning to reopen the casinos soon. However, the occupation has potential for conflict. Because a large part of the working group, which is supposed to design a plan for reopening the gambling industry, is to be made up of influential casino moguln. This poses an enormous conflict of interest, which is clearly criticized by the managing director of the Australian alliance for gambling reform, Tony Mohr.

The impartiality of the gambling working group in Australia is strongly questioned. ((©pattyjansen/Pixabay)

Greed after profit could exceed health

Tony Mohr, Managing Director of the Australian Alliance for Gambling Reform, explicitly warns of the Compilation of the gambling working group. According to his views, greed could be greater than the interest in the protection of the health of the Australian population after profit at the casino operators present. Therefore, Tony Mohr clearly referred to a possible conflict of interest in a statement:

“We are really concerned that your advice is selfish and not in the interest of the efforts of public health that we are fighting for. (…) It is absolutely incredible that we have a working group that works internally for their own profits. It must be transparent, publicly accessible and in the public interest. ”

But it is not only those associated with the working group that weigh the allegations. Likewise, Marlene Cairouz, after all, the Australian minister for consumer protection and regulation of gambling and alcohol, clearly positioned herself on the side of the indirectly accused. Kairouz explained that the working group Recommendations of the highest health officer in the country. A spokeswoman for the world-famous Crown casinos also assured that the casino owners and other workers from the gaming sector have made massive losses in the past few months due to the corona pandemic, but at the same time it assured that the discussions in the working group served to do so Security of visitors and employees to guarantee with a possible reopening.

Corona pandemic as an opportunity to re-assess the gambling

The risk of increased spread of the coronavirus due to an early reopening of the casinos is an important criticism from Tony Mohr’s perspective. After all, this could cause a new upser of Covid-19, which in turn could lead to new lock-downs or similar measures. In addition, Mohr criticizes another area: Problematic game behavior. The game break forced by Covid-19 was for the first time in some time for many people with problematic or addicted game behavior in which the players had gained some distance from gambling. The reopening should therefore also be seen as an opportunity for problematic play behavior to reduce people’s game problems with gambling addiction and to be able to combat them better. A planned and well thought -out reopening is the key.

Tim Costello, the top representative of the Allianz for Gaming Reform, also hit the side of Tony Mohr. Costello dilated Mohr and added that, in his opinion, gambling damage could best be prevented by by Slot machines remained switched off. You have to see Corona pandemic as a unique way through which the gambling in Australia can be completely reconsidered.

Who does the responsible work group exist? “The gambling working group was launched well before the outbreak of the outbreak of the worldwide corona pandemic. The chair of the group is filled by Neil Spencer, the former head of the Crown casinos. The other members are made up of the current operators of Tabcorp, Crown Resorts, the Community Clubs Victoria and the Association of Australian Hotels. ”

The gambling working group is therefore exposed to various discussions and clear criticism. The working group is currently meeting every week. Even if the assessment of the situation is certainly not easy, a Decision on the further procedure or a possible reopening are decided under certain conditions. However, the “decision” is more than a recommendation that is then passed on to the government’s responsible decision -makers. If you follow the words of Marlene Cairouz, the Australian minister for consumer protection and regulation of gambling and alcohol, a reopening of the casinos is conceivable from the end of July. So it remains exciting.