Assembly member proposes pokies ban in Molonglo Valley and undeveloped areas of ACT

Molonglo Valley currently lacks poker machines.
Molonglo Valley currently lacks poker machines.

The proposed legislative amendment was introduced by Labor MLA Dr Marisa Paterson.

Australia.- Labor assemblymember Dr Marisa Paterson has proposed legislation that would ban gambling machines in Molonglo Valley and undeveloped areas of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The former director of the ANU’s Centre for Gambling Research has presented a legislative amendment to the Gaming Machine ACT 2003 that would prohibit class C gaming machine licences.

Paterson launched a four-week campaign, ‘Keep Molonglo Pokie-Free,’ in May to measure the sentiments of Molonglo Valley residents. According to Patterson, “the vision that Molonglo Valley residents have for their developing community does not include poker machines.”

She argues that proximity to poker machines heightens gambling harm. There are currently no poker machines in the area. The proposed legislation would not prevent clubs from establishing in new areas of Canberra but would forbid them from introducing poker machines.

Patterson said: “What is clear from Molonglo residents is that they desire vibrant venues and community facilities in their community, but poker machines are not part of that future vision. This legislative reform marks a step forward in addressing gambling harm in the ACT.”

See more: Australia launches BetStop self-exclusion register

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