I was working on a post about the Problem Gambling Foundation and Te Ururoa Flavell’s gambling harm reduction bill that got watered down completely. What I found was concerning. There simply isn’t enough economic thinking being applied to this “problem” that is primarily internalised by problem gamblers.
The whole area of gambling reform seems to be driven by big numbers similar to those thrown around by anti-tobacco and anti-alcohol groups. There is also a plethora of non-profits who get a hell of a lot of taxpayer money.
For an indication of why I am going to do some more research into this stuff, check this Powerpoint presentation that Te Ururoa Flavell gave to the Commerce Committee:
I particularly like the idea that gambling losses are “public money”, that somehow naughty gambling industry operators “owe” the community something. Did you know that some problem gambling foundations have even received money from pokie trusts? Bootleggers & baptists much?
I am going to do a bit more reading on this before commenting on how non profit groups work with MPs to design legislation just the way big business works with MPs to design legislation. The idea that a non-profit entity is not a firm that wants to maximise its profits in the form of salaries & other forms of compensation is ludicrous.