Monday 10. October, 2016

Canberra Greens Examine Pokies in the State

The Greens in Canberra are looking to slash the number of poker machines allowed to operate in the state and to reduce the betting limit on machines to $1.

The proposal, which was released less than one week before the elections in the ACT, is looking to make some major reforms to poker machine gambling in Canberra. According to the policy, the Greens would like to see the number of machines in the state reduced by one third. They want a $1 betting limit set on all machines and they are proposing that all gamblers be required to make a precommitment as to how much money they can lose, before they begin to play.

The Greens are suggesting these measures as a way to combat problem gambling which they have identified as an issue they plan to address.

In terms of the precommitment technology, Greens leader, Shane Rattenbury said: “They do ensure that people, basically before they start betting, know that there’s a limit on what they can lose.”

Precommitment technology has been addressed in the past with a strong push for this technology to be introduced. In December 2015, the YourPlay system was set up in Victoria, which allowed punters to preset amounts they would be prepared to lose on poker machines. This was a voluntary system. However, there has been a push since then to make systems such as these requirements, instead of voluntary and the Greens would like to see this introduced in Canberra.

“We’ll be prepared to work with anybody in the assembly who is elected to get some of these measures put in place,” stated Mr Rattenbury.

At the same time, he said that the Greens would push to make it easier for pubs and clubs to reduce their reliance on revenue from poker machines.


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