Wednesday 17. February, 2016

Queensland Attorney General Advises No Change to 10am Pokies Law

A question has arisen in the Queensland parliament about the government amending laws to allow gambling on poker machines before 10am. However, Queensland’s Attorney General, Yvette D’Ath, has ruled out the possibility, stating clearly before parliament that the government has no intention to change the law.

The law was originally introduced by the Bligh Government at the beginning of 2009 in an effort to counter problem gambling. The ban on playing pokies before 10am was introduced at the same time as strict new liquor licensing laws went into effect which reduced the number of licensed premises across the state that could open before 10am from 1,200 to 300. At the time, Premier Anna Bligh stated that gambling and drinking were never intended for breakfast time and these laws were introduced to make Queensland a safer environment.

The question in parliament was initially ruled out when it was raised on Tuesday as it was too closely linked to the discussions that were already on the floor regarding alcohol-fueled violence legislation. The Queensland government is currently debating the introduction of lockout laws for the state in the same way as they have been introduced in NSW. The laws have caused much controversy with some people arguing that they are killing Sydney’s nightlife. The laws involve a 1:30am lockout and 3am last drinks across Sydney’s CBD and King’s Cross with talk of extending them to Pyrmont which may affect The Star Casino.

Speaker Peter Wellington later allowed the question to be asked by opposition MP Tarnya Smith. Ms D’Ath responded: “I can advise the member and all members of the House that there is no intention to change that regulation and no licenses provided for pre-10am gaming in pubs and clubs since changes under the Bligh government.”


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