Wilkie Tries to Limits Bets on Pokies Again
Independent MP and long-time campaigner against pokies and problem gambling, Andrew Wilkie, has reintroduced a bill for mandatory pre-commitment technology to limit bets on poker machines and $250 ATM gambling withdrawal limits.
Mr Wilkie last introduced this bill in November 2014; however, at the time, the legislation was never debated. He is now having another go at legislating a $1 bet limit for poker machines.
Mr Wilkie condemned the other major parties in a scathing attack stating that not one of them was beyond reproach when it comes to taking donations from gambling companies, even though in developing countries, this action would be considered “corruption on a grand scale.”
“But it goes on in this place and it goes on all the time,” he asserted.
“[Gambling companies] buy influence in this place and what a great investment they make!”
In 2014, when Mr Wilkie first introduced the legislation, he lacked support for the changes and while the Gillard government allowed the bill to be introduced and pledged support, it was abandoned.
Mr Wilkie has been vocal over the years of his push to introduce measures that will reduce harm from problem gambling. Mandatory pre-commitment technology requires punters to input a binding loss limit before they begin playing. A voluntary pre-commitment scheme is already available in some venues in Victoria; however the government is reluctant to make the scheme mandatory as according to Human Services Minister Alan Tudge, most punters gamble responsibly.
In addition, the government has responded to Mr Wilkie in the past saying that most poker machines are not capable of introducing $1 bets and the implementation of this legislation would cost $1.5 billion. The government has put money into gambling research and funding financial councillors as a means to counter the impact of problem gambling.
April 16, 2017