Victoria to introduce new limits on pokies

The changes are expected to be in place by the end of the year.
The changes are expected to be in place by the end of the year.

The Victorian government will introduce AU$100 load-up limits and slower spin rates for electronic gaming machines.

Australia.- The Victorian government has announced reforms for the electronic gambling industry. They include the implementation of new mandatory pre-commitment limits, restricting the maximum amount a gambler can put into an electronic gaming machine to AU$100 (US$68.31) at one time, down from the current limit of AU$1,000. 

Carded play will become compulsory for machines. This is aimed at curbing money laundering. Meanwhile, all venues with machines, except Crown Casino, will be mandated to close their gaming areas between 4am and 10am and electronic gaming machines will be slowed down to a spin rate of three seconds per game.

Certain services previously provided by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation will be taken over by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) from July 1, 2024. To support this transition, the VGCCC received an allocation of AU$71m in the state budget. According to local media reports, the other changes are expected to be in place by the end of the year.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the measures were designed to create the toughest electronic gambling restrictions in Australia. He said: “Gambling is, for the majority of Victorians, a perfectly legitimate recreational activity but for some, and I think it’s a growing number, it is the cause of profound harm.

“Today’s package of reform represents a profound step, indeed perhaps the biggest step of any jurisdiction across our country, to do just that — to keep people safe.”

The government estimates that around 330,000 Victorians experience harm due to gambling annually, with losses amounting to nearly AU$7bn.

Meanwhile, the New South Wales government has announced the creation of a panel to oversee the state government’s cashless gambling trial. It will be led by former New South Wales Liquor, Gaming and Racing commissioner Michael Foggo

The panel will design and launch a 12-month trial of expanded cashless gaming on 500 poker machines in clubs and pubs. However, shortly after being appointed as the head of the aforementioned panel, Foggo called for an expansion of the programme to include 3,000 machines instead of 500.

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