Australian First in Regulating Gambling
1 November 2013 at 11:57 am
New legislation will make Victoria the first jurisdiction to require pre-commitment technology on every Victorian electronic gaming machine.
The Coalition Government has introduced the Gambling Regulation Amendment (Pre-commitment) Bill 2013, which will make it compulsory for venue operators to connect their gaming machines to the statewide pre-commitment system from December 1, 2015.
The Victorian pre-commitment scheme will be voluntary for players to use and voluntary for players to set a limit. It will however be mandatory on all gaming machines, at all gaming venues across the state, including Crown.
Minister for Liquor and Gaming Regulation Edward O’Donohue described the Coalition Government’s actions on pre-commitment as an Australian first.
“I am proud that the Coalition Government is leading the way for the rest of Australia in this important policy area,” O’Donohue said.
“Victoria will be the first jurisdiction to require pre-commitment to be available as a harm minimisation tool for at risk gamblers, and as a consumer protection initiative for all.”
The legislation also makes it an offence to disclose players’ personal pre-commitment data without authorisation; enables the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation to make and enforce technical standards for pre-commitment equipment; and enables the use of de-identified information from the pre-commitment system for problem gambling research.
“The Coalition came to government determined to reduce the effects of problem gambling on individuals, families and the community,” O’Donohue said.
“The introduction of pre-commitment is the latest move demonstrating our determination to tackle this problem head on.”
ATMs were prohibited in gaming venues from July 1, 2012 to limit access to cash and reduce gambling-related harm.
The Coalition Government ensured the prohibition would not be undermined by extending the ban to alternative cash access facilities that do not require the customer to interact with venue staff across all Victorian gaming venues.
An independent report conducted by Swinburne University and released in September 2013 found that the ban has been effective in reducing harm for problem gamblers, reducing the amount of time spent playing gaming machines generally and reducing impulse spending on gaming.
The Coalition Government has also set up the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation to independently carry out gambling counselling, research and awareness functions.
The Coalition Government has provided $150 million over four years to the Foundation, 41 per cent higher than comparable funding under the former Labor government, and the largest financial commitment to address problem gambling in Australian history.