Tasmania introduces loss limits on pokie loyalty programmes

Gambling prevalence in Tasmania has declined to 47 per cent in 2020.
Gambling prevalence in Tasmania has declined to 47 per cent in 2020.

The Tasmania Liquor and Gaming Commission will now require members of pokie loyalty programmes at land-based casinos to set annual loss limits.

Australia.- The Tasmania Liquor and Gaming Commission has introduced a new measure for members of slot loyalty programmes at Tasmania’s two land-based casinos.

Under the new rules, players must set annual rather than daily limits for losses and must declare their capability to financially sustain their losses. When a player reaches an annual loss limit, casino operators must deny access to the loyalty schemes and their associated benefits.

Jenny Cranston, who chairs Tasmania’s Liquor and Gaming Commission, said pokie players in Tasmania usually underestimate their losses. The measure aims to prevent regular players from losing more than they can afford.

However, MP Andrew Wilkie, an independent member of the Tasmanian House of Representatives, criticised the measure, arguing it instils an illusory sense of security. He said the limits would only help a small minority of gamblers and that the limit should be daily, not annual.

Megan Webb, an independent member of the Tasmanian Legislative Council, argued the measure should also cover pubs and the regular areas of the casino floor at land-based casinos.

Player losses on Tasmanian poker machines rise during the Covid-19 pandemic

record amount was spent on poker machines in Tasmania during the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the Tasmania Liquor and Gaming Commission.

Poker machine venues were closed from March 23 to June 26 last year due to Covid-19 restrictions but after reopening, the number of daily losses reached over AU$545,000 a day, an increase of nearly AU$70,000 compared with the previous year.

However, the fifth edition of the Social and Economic Impact Study (SEIS) revealed that gambling prevalence in Tasmania declined from 72 per cent in 2008 to 47 per cent in 2020. Authorities said that the percentage of people with gambling problems declined from 0.6 per cent to 0.4 per cent when compared to the previous report.

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