Tasmanian gaming machine reforms delayed

Tasmanian gaming machine reforms delayed

The introduction of mandatory pre-commitment cards has been delayed for at least 18 months.

Australia.- Finance minister Nic Street has today (July 3) announced that the implementation of a mandatory loss limit system for gaming machines in Tasmania will be delayed by at least 18 months. Maxgaming Holdings, the company which was awarded the licence to monitor machines in casinos, hotels, and clubs, said it has faced challenges in developing the necessary technology and requested more time.

Independent MP for Nelson Meg Webb called on the government to introduce further evidence-based harm reduction measures immediately. Webb said another year of delay would result in another AU$190m flowing out of our most vulnerable suburbs.

She stated: “It is worth taking the time needed to get the nation-leading card-based system right, but there is no excuse to neglect other evidence-based measures that can be put in place to cut harm now. Every month we continue to see Tasmanians experiencing high losses to poker machines, well above pre-Covid-19 levels.

“There was a further AU$15.7m lost in May – and we know that around half of those losses come from people who are addicted.”

Greens MP Vica Bayley said: “As well as moving to introduce urgent interim harm reduction measures, we also call on the Minister for Finance to provide a full and detailed account of exactly what ‘challenges’ have been encountered by the successful tenderer for the service and why the delay wasn’t transparently announced by the government as soon as it was advised.

“This delay will prolong suffering and increase pressure on Tasmanian families and others connected to those struggling with gambling addiction during a cost-of-living crisis. It needs to be met with clarity and commitment by the Rockliff government.”

Under the proposed system, players would set their own loss limits or adhere to preset limits of up to AU$100 per day, AU$500 per month, or AU$5,000 per year. These limits could be increased if the player could demonstrate the financial capacity to sustain higher losses.

See also: Australian online gambling credit card ban enters force

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