from the Attorney-General, Justice Minister
and Leader of the House
The Hon Yvette D’Ath MP
World leader in responsible gambling practices
Since the introduction of gaming machines to Queensland in 1992, the Gaming Machine Act 1991 has provided the platform for the community to have confidence in the integrity of operations of gaming machines in Queensland.
It has also ensured the community at large benefited from the industry by creating the Gambling Community Benefit Fund (GCBF), established in 1994 and designed to strengthen the capacity of community organisations to provide community services through the provision of non-recurrent grants.
The fund allows not-for-profit groups operating in Queensland to apply for grants from $500 to $35,000. I’m proud to say that it’s the State’s largest one-off grants program, distributing approximately $54 million per year to Queensland communities.
Over the past 26 years, the legislation has grown to incorporate sustainable programs to support both patrons and licensees.
One of these milestones is the Queensland Responsible Gambling Code of Practice, which provides a proactive whole-of-industry approach to the promotion of responsible gambling practices in Queensland.
It’s important that all gambling providers understand their responsibilities in the code of practice. These include:
- providing a gambling environment where activities and services are based on responsible gambling practices
- having information readily available about responsible gambling so that patrons can make informed choices about their gambling
- having trained staff available to help patrons with gambling-related concerns, to assist them in making contact with gambling-related support services, and advise them about complaint handling procedures
- having information and documents available and assist patrons in a timely manner to exclude themselves from gambling. Gambling providers are required to assist patrons through the process in a sensitive and confidential manner that protects their privacy
- having responsible gambling financial practices in place, and
- abiding by strict guidelines that ensure advertising or promotion of gambling is delivered in a responsible manner. Gambling providers must consider the potential impact of advertising and promotions on people who may be adversely affected by gambling.
Queensland has a strong reputation in the industry and a strong vision for the future.
I remain confident that the industry will continue to grow from strength to strength, as we work together to uphold the principles of the code of practice.
Significant funding on offer for local community groups
In 2019, the Gambling Community Benefit Fund (GCBF) will mark its 25th anniversary of grant funding.
To commemorate this significant milestone, it gave me great pleasure to recently announce up to $1.25 million will be made available in the Commemorative Grants round.
A total of 10 organisations will receive up to $100,000 each, and one organisation will receive up to $250,000 for larger scale initiatives that will significantly benefit Queensland communities. These grants are over and above the normal grants and will provide a significant opportunity for those organisations which have previously been unable to fund initiatives greater than $35,000.
Since inception of the fund, more than 54,000 grants totalling more than $816 million have been awarded to hard-working community organisations across Queensland.
Interested organisations can find out more information and how to apply on the community benefit funding programs page at www.justice.qld.gov.au
Shedding light on Queensland households gambling habits
Recently, I released the 2016-17 Queensland Household Gambling Survey revealing more Queenslanders don’t gamble at all.
Out of 15,000 people surveyed, it found that 29.2% hadn’t bought lottery tickets or art union tickets, placed a bet, or used electronic gaming machines in 2016-17 – up from 26.2% in the last survey in 2011-12.
It was also encouraging to see the percentage of problem gamblers has remained stable over the past five years at 0.51%.
These results reflect the ongoing efforts by the Queensland Government to minimise gambling-related harm in Queensland, as we continue in our election commitment to develop a revised framework to address problem gambling.
Key findings in the Queensland Household Gambling Survey 2016-17:
- 29.24% of adults hadn’t gambled in the previous 12 months
- 61% of adults are recreational gamblers who were unlikely to have experienced any negative impacts
- 0.51% of adults were problem gamblers, and
- 2.51% were at moderate risk.
The survey also identified a decrease in the percentage of people playing gaming machines (from 29.6 to 24.7%) and an increase in the percentage of people betting on sporting events (5.1 to 6.9%).
In the past, the data from this survey has assisted in developing key initiatives to minimise gambling-related harm and will continue to do so. The marginal change in the percentage of gamblers at risk since the 2011-12 survey is of concern and we will continue to work with industry to ensure the small number of problem gamblers get the support they need.
Presently, there is a range of measures in place in Queensland to promote responsible gambling and assist people affected by gambling problems.
Complete survey results are now available on the website at www.justice.qld.gov.au