Australia’s gambling industry has been likened to America’s National Rifle Association amid backlash surrounding a new mega casino in Brisbane – and allegations of poker machine tampering at Melbourne’s Crown Casino.
Alliance for Gambling Reform spokesman Tim Costello has called the Queen’s Wharf entertainment precinct development – inclusive of a casino – emblematic of a massive cultural “blind spot”, ABC News reports.
"Where other states have one casino — Sydney is about to get two — Queensland is leading the charge with the number of casinos, so I really think this is a bankrupt social policy," he said.
He added: "The casino and gaming industry in Australia is the equivalent of the NRA — we have 20 per cent of the world's pokies, just like Americans have so many guns.
"This blind spot means we are the greatest problem gamblers by a country mile — way behind Singapore and then Ireland."
Star Entertainment Group has commenced building its Brisbane development, set to create more than 8,000 more jobs once completed – with the Government predicting 1.39 million new visitors spending their tourist dollars.
Triple M has reached to Star Entertainment Group and the Queensland Government for comment.