Thank you Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Health.
Minister, poker machines are designed to be highly addictive.
They have been described by experts as the “crack cocaine” of gambling.
Scientists have demonstrated that the machines are designed to increase the production of dopamine which elicits a physical response from players when playing the machines.
Is the Minister aware that the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as DSM-5, includes gambling disorder as a behavioural addiction?
DSM-5 suggests that gambling disorder is similar to substance-related disorders such as drug, nicotine and alcohol addictions in relation to clinical expression, brain origin, comorbidity, physiology and treatment.
As Health Minister, what plans do you have to minimise the addictive features of poker machines?
Have you sought advice from Public Health Officers on how this can best be achieved and, if so, will you please inform the House of that advice?