Generally' national public health issues in Australia are reflected by a strong response from the federal level of government. Thispaper outlines the credentials of gambling as a significant public health issue' and considers whether there is a case for more involvement by the Federal Government than has occurred to date. Gambling has many attributes that render it similar in nature to' and thus requiring similar responses to' numerous other public health issues' regardless of how public health is defined. Despite this apparent likeness' and recognition by the Federal Government of a need for a national approach to combat the problems of excessive gambling' the response to date has not yet been nationally driven' nor has public health provided the guidingframework. Therefore an opportunity existsfor the Federal Government to address the public health concerns associated with problem gambling and to adopt a strong and highprofile coordinating role in efforts toprevent and respond to gamblinlrrelated problems. Besides being in the national interest' a strategy from the federal rather than state level ispreferred due to the possible conflict of interest at the state level of government.