Gambling on the pokies - recommendations for government policy

Parliament house flag post

Gambling on the pokies - recommendations for government policy

Posted 6/05/2011 by Matthew Thomas


The Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform has just released a report into the design and implementation of a mandatory pre-commitment system for electronic gaming (poker) machines.

The introduction of mandatory pre-commitment technology for poker machines was one of Independent MP, Andrew Wilkie’s key demands in return for support of the minority Gillard government after the last federal election.
Under the agreement, Labor agreed to begin implementing pre-commitment technology by 2012, with a full pre-commitment scheme—that is, one that is uniform across all states and territories and machines—commencing in 2014.

The Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform was charged with developing recommendations on a best-practice pre-commitment scheme that was consistent with the findings and recommendations of the Productivity Commission's gambling inquiry. These recommendations were to inform the Commonwealth position to be taken to the COAG Select Council on Gambling Reform.

The report's main recommendations include:

  • card-based mandatory pre-commitment on all ‘high’ intensity poker machines by 2014 (basically high intensity machines have high volatility, high bet limits, fast games, large but infrequent wins—these machines are the standard in the Australian market);
  • players must set a spending limit before play, but this can be as high as they choose;
  • players are locked out for a specified period once their limit is reached (play on machine is disabled);
  • a cooling-off period applies to any player decision to increase their limits—a minimum of 24 hours (decreasing limits will take immediate effect);
  • limits must be set away from the direct influence of poker machines;
  • dynamic warnings to alert players they are approaching their limit;
  • include safe-guards to prevent players hopping to other machines or other venues; and
  • a pre-commitment card to be linked to self-exclusion schemes.
As an alternative or as an adjunct to poker machines fitted with pre-commitment technology, venues could choose to run low intensity machines that limit losses to an average of $120 per hour (to feature $1 bet limits, $500 maximum prize and $20 maximum cash load-up).

Casinos would be able to offer foreign tourists on proof of ID a 24 hour temporary card that would allow them to circumvent the pre-commitment system.

Smaller venues (those with 15 machines or less) would have until 2018 to implement the mandatory pre-commitment technology or to introduce low intensity machines. A transition fund would be set up to assist smaller venues with the costs of implementing the new requirements.

The new system would be overseen by a new independent national regulatory agency.

In their dissenting report, Coalition Members of the Committee argued that there was a lack of evidence that a mandatory pre-commitment scheme would assist those people with gambling problems. They also maintained that mandatory pre-commitment would have a significant impact on employment in gambling venues, with flow-on effects to contributions made by clubs to the community. In the light of these claimed impacts, Coalition Members called for further research to be conducted into the effects of a mandatory pre-commitment system and for a cost-benefit anlaysis of the final scheme before any decision is made on implementation.

One argument made against the introduction of a mandatory pre-commitment system is that it is paternalistic, treating all poker machine players as though they were unable or unwilling to control their gambling. For example, Victoria's Gaming Minister, Michael O'Brien is reported as having labeled mandatory pre-commitment 'big brother, nanny state policy'. For a discussion of what paternalism is and when it may or may not be considered justifiable, see the recently published Parliamentary Library paper on the subject.

(Image sourced from Commons Wikimedia at: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Slot_machine.jpg)


Thank you for your comment. If it does not require moderation, it will appear shortly.
Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Add | Email Print

FlagPost

Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament


Parliamentary Library Logo showing Information Analysis & Advice

Archive

Syndication

Tagcloud

refugees asylum immigration Australian foreign policy Parliament climate change elections women social security Indigenous Australians Australian Bureau of Statistics Employment taxation Sport illicit drugs people trafficking Medicare welfare reform Australian Defence Force higher education welfare policy United Nations Asia income management Middle East criminal law disability Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency World Anti-Doping Agency United States federal budget gambling school education forced labour aid statistics Australian Electoral Commission WADA health financing emissions trading Australia in the Asian Century steroids detention Private health insurance OECD ASADA labour force transport Law Enforcement Australian Federal Police Industrial Relations dental health National Disability Insurance Scheme slavery Senate election results Papua New Guinea Australian Public Service International Women's Day corruption Afghanistan Fair Work Act child protection people smuggling debt federal election 2013 parliamentary procedure poker machines ALP New Zealand Australian Crime Commission Newstart Parenting Payment 43rd Parliament political parties Census constitution High Court skilled migration voting Federal Court terrorist groups Higher Education Loan Program HECS youth paid parental leave Aviation environment foreign debt gross debt net debt defence capability customs doping health crime health risks multiculturalism aged care Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling sex slavery sea farers Special Rapporteur leadership United Kingdom UK Parliament Electoral reform politics banking firearms public policy violence against women domestic violence mental health China ADRV terrorism social media pensions welfare ASIO intelligence community Australian Security Intelligence Organisation governance public service reform Carbon Pricing Mechanism carbon tax mining military history employer employee fishing by-election European Union same sex relationships international relations coal seam gas family assistance planning United Nations Security Council Australian economy food vocational education and training Drugs Indonesia children codes of conduct terrorist financing Productivity asylum seekers early childhood education Canada Population Financial sector national security fuel disability employment Tasmania integrity science research and development Australian Secret Intelligence Service sexual abuse federal state relations World Trade Organization Australia accountability housing affordability bulk billing water renewable energy children's health health policy Governor-General US economy export liquefied natural gas foreign bribery question time speaker superannuation expertise Senators and Members climate Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry food labelling Pacific Islands reserved seats new psychoactive substances synthetic drugs UNODC carbon markets health reform Indigenous constitutional recognition of local government local government consumer laws PISA royal commission US politics language education baby bonus Leaders of the Opposition Parliamentary remuneration health system Australia Greens money laundering servitude Trafficking Protocol energy forced marriage rural and regional Northern Territory Emergency Response ministries social citizenship human rights housing Speaker; House of Representatives; Parliament citizenship Defence High Court; Indigenous; Indigenous Australians; Native Title ACT Indigenous education Norfolk Island External Territories emissions reduction fund; climate change child care funding refugees immigration asylum procurement Indigenous health e-voting internet voting nsw state elections 44th Parliament 2015 ABS Age Pension Death penalty capital punishment execution Bali nine Bali bombings Trade EU China soft power education Fiji India Disability Support Pension Antarctica Diplomacy by-elections state and territories workers Bills anti-corruption fraud bribery transparency corporate ownership whistleblower G20 economic reform innovation standards NATO Members of Parliament Scottish referendum Middle East; national security; terrorism social services Criminal Code Amendment (Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor) Bill 2013 online grooming sexual assault of minors ACT Assembly public health smoking plain packaging tobacco cigarettes Asia; Japan; international relations Work Health and Safety Migration; asylum seekers; regional processing China; United States; international relations fiscal policy Racial Discrimination Act; social policy; human rights; indigenous Australians Foreign policy Southeast Asia Israel Palestine regional unemployment asylum refugees immigration political finance donations foreign aid Economics efficiency human rights; Racial Discrimination Act employment law bullying Animal law; food copyright Australian Law Reform Commission industry peace keeping contracts workplace policies trade unions same-sex marriage disorderly conduct retirement Parliament House standing orders public housing prime ministers election timetable sitting days First speech defence budget submarines Somalia GDP forestry world heritage political engagement leave loading Trade; tariffs; safeguards; Anti-dumping public interest disclosure whistleblowing Productivity Commission regulation limitation period universities Ireland cancer gene patents genetic testing suspension of standing and sessional orders animal health live exports welfare systems infant mortality middle class welfare honorary citizen railways disciplinary tribunals standard of proof World Health Organisation arts international students skilled graduate visas temporary employment visas apologies roads Italy national heritage NHMRC nutrition anti-dumping Constitutional reform referendum Rent Assistance competition policy pharmaceutical benefits scheme obesity evidence law sacrament of confession US presidential election international days DFAT UN General Assembly deregulation Regulation Impact Statements administrative law small business Breaker Morant homelessness regional engagement social determinants of health abortion Youth Allowance Members suspension citizen engagement policymaking federal election 2010 workplace health and safety Trafficking in Persons Report marine reserves hearing TAFE Victoria astronomy resources sector YMCA youth parliament alcohol Korea rebate Australian Greens presidential nomination Racial Discrimination Act entitlements political parties preselection solar hot water Financial Action Taskforce Horn of Africa peacekeeping piracy Great Barrier Reef Stronger futures political financing Hung Parliament political education social inclusion Social Inclusion Board maritime early childhood National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care Murray-Darling Basin Iran sanctions Norway

Show all
Show less
Back to top