EFTPOS Machine Numbers Soar at Pokie Venues
Poker machine venues have been getting around a law that bans ATMs from their gaming venues and car parks by introducing EFTPOS machines which offer an unlimited number of withdrawals.
In 2012, ATMs with $400 daily limits were banned from gaming venues; however the EFTPOS machines that allow unlimited withdrawals of $200 each were introduced in their place. In 2013, the government commissioned a report into EFTPOS machines in gaming venues and discovered that the number of machines has jumped significantly since ATMs were banned. In fact, of the venues surveyed, the number of machines jumped from 59.6 percent to 96.6 percent.
Dr Charles Livingstone, gambling expert at Monash University has called on the government to cap withdrawals in gaming venues at $200 per day.
“This is not about being a nanny state or stopping gambling,” said Dr Livingstone.
“This is stopping a facility that is there to provide people with cash that in many cases they can’t afford, that is going straight into a machine.”
According to Dr Livingstone, with a maximum $5 bet per spin on poker machines in Victoria, the median loss rate exceeds $3,000 per hour and can reach up to $40,000 in a six hour period.
However, Australian Hotels Association Victoria chief executive, Paddy O’Sullivan argued that it would be unreasonable to prevent hotel patrons from accessing their money by banning EFTPOS machines from these venues. He argued that gaming staff are well trained to recognise signs of problem gambling.
According to Minister of Liquor and Gaming Regulation, Marlene Kairouz, the government promised in the election campaign to look into the issue of access to cash at gambling venues. In the meantime, the government has pledged $150 million to be spent on problem gambling services over the coming four years.
March 23, 2017