The Australian Christian Lobby has thrown its support behind Senator Nick Xenaphon and MP Andrew Wilkie's renewed calls for gambling reform, saying that the onus is on newly returned Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ensure people with a gambling addiction and their families are adequately protected.

The two politicians this week joined with Tim Costello, of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, to push for reforms to Australia's gambing industry including a national $1 bet limit on poker machines and a ban on gambling advertising during G-rated television periods.

Lyle Shelton, managing director of the ACL, said the Federal Government must heed community concerns. “The onus is on the Turnbull Government to ensure the 400,000 people with gambling addiction and their families are adequately protected," he said. “This is one time when government intervention is needed to address sports gambling advertising and to introduce $1 bets."

Mr Shelton said that with the gambling industry having given the "impression" that it is concerned with the harm poker machines inflict on the community, the ACL now looked forward to them demonstrating it by taking "real action to minimise this harm by supporting $1 bets".

The ACL quoted figures from a Productivity Commission report showing the number of problem gamblers in Australia is about 115,000 with a further 280,000 at "moderate" risk. They make up about 40 per cent of total spending on machines despite making up only 15 per cent of regular players.

“The ACL calls on Labor and the Coalition to draw a line in the sand, to show leadership and refuse any donations that come from the gambling industry," Mr Shelton said. “Gambling money has too much influence on Australian politics and problem gamblers and their families suffer as a result.”

~ www.acl.org.au