As an organisation, NCOSS works towards a NSW that is free from poverty and disadvantage. Problem gambling causes significant financial hardship and stress on the people and communities we represent and to whom our members provide care and support. The harms from problem gambling are not just financial – they include suicide, depression, relationship breakdown, job loss, bankruptcy and crime. NCOSS acknowledges the role clubs play within their communities in offering a range of social activities, but believe it is unethical for these clubs to rely on gambling and profits derived from gambling to support these activities.
We believe the review of the Local Impact Assessment is both necessary and timely. It is necessary because electronic gaming machines, as one of a growing number of gambling options, continue to be the overwhelming cause of gambling problems. For that reason, they require effective regulation to mitigate against their harmful effects, particularly on people living in poverty and in socially disadvantaged areas. The review is timely because local government mergers in NSW are likely to affect the way regulation of electronic gaming is undertaken by the Liquor and Gaming Authority (the Authority).