Problem gambling needs to be confronted in Victoria, as far as Liberal leader, Ted Baillieu, is concerned.
A few months before the November 25th elections, Baillieu pledged to slash the number of machines for the game of poker in Victoria by 5,500, or from 27,500 to 22,000 when contracts with the gambling duopoly of Tattersall's and Tabcorp expire.
Likewise, for further improvements on limiting gambling activities in Victoria, Baillieu vowed to increase the budget for programs supporting the rehabilitation of problem gamblers.
Also part of the Liberals plan is a limit to the number of machines allowed at pokie venues from 105 to only 80; but venues with less than 25 machines would not be subject to any adjustment.
Victorian poker machine punters spend $7 million every day or a collection of $2.5 billion a year in gambling bets. Analysts say 42% of the said total is contributed by gambling addicts.
"A Liberal government will be dedicated to removing these machines and tackling the extent of gambling addiction," Baillieu told the media. "It's time for a serious effort to protect and help those who need it most," he stressed.
Meanwhile, the news is expected to upset both Tattersall's and Tabcorp, who are both licensed to equally control the 27,500 pokies until 2012. Neither of the 2 gaming giants issued an official statement as of press time.