Australian Capital Territory aims to cut number of gambling machines to 3,500

There are currently 3,611 electronic gaming machines in operation in Canberra.
There are currently 3,611 electronic gaming machines in operation in Canberra.

Authorities in the Australian Capital Territory want to reduce the number of gambling machines in territory clubs to 3,500 by 2024.

Australia.- Shane Rattenbury, the Australian Capital Territory’s minister for gaming, has said that the federal district will aim to reduce the number of gambling machines in clubs to 3,500 by 2024. Canberra currently has 3,611 electronic gaming machines in operation, but 3,863 licensed machines.

Rattenbury also said he wanted to explore options for some clubs to go “pokie-free” and diversify their businesses following the Covid-19 hit on clubs revenues.

He told Canberra Times: “The clubs have done a great job across the pandemic, but it has had an impact on them and I think that is something we need the government to take into account as we think about these transition plans.”

Rattenbury also announced the next funding round of the ACT Government Diversity Fund. Developed in 2019, the fund is funded by clubs, who must contribute AU$20 (US$14) per month to the first 99 poker machine licences they own.

Clubs can then apply for funding from this fund for projects that help diversify their revenue streams away from slot machines.

See also: Australian Capital to review slot machine rules

ACMA report shows an 8% increase in Australian online gambling

New research from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that more than one in 10 (11 per cent) Australians reported participating in online gambling at some stage in the previous six months. That’s an 8 per cent increase from 2020.

The online gambling in Australia snapshot was undertaken in June 2021. The research also showed an increase in sports betting, with 8 per cent of Australians betting on sports or horse racing over the previous six months, compared to 5 per cent in 2020.

ACMA aimed to study the impact of Covid-19 on online gambling habits and found that 16 per cent of Australians who gamble online reported an increase in their gambling frequency compared to before the pandemic.

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