Victorian AGR calls for stake limits and fixed closing time for slots

The AGR wants a AU$1 maximum stake for slots.
The AGR wants a AU$1 maximum stake for slots.

Player losses on Victoria slot machines stand at AU$66bn since machines were introduced in 1992.

Australia.- The Alliance for Gambling Reform (AGR) has called for more restrictions on slot machines in Victoria. The call comes as the body estimates that player losses on what are known as poker machines in Australia have reached AU$66bn since their introduction in Victoria 30 years ago. The AGR says the first machines were introduced on July 17, 1992, at the Dorset Gardens Hotel in Croydon.

The Alliance has called for action to reduce the impact of the machines, including a fixed closing time for all poker machines between 2am and 6am. It notes that while the Victorian government enacted legislation in 2004 to reduce the opening hours of poker machines to 20 hours a day the changes do not specify at what times the machines must be turned off.

It says that as a consequence owners with multiple venues have been changing their hours to provide 24-hour gambling access. The AGR has also called for a maximum bet of AU$1 across all machines. This is something the Victorian Greens party has also proposed. The state currently has a maximum bet limit of AU$5 on poker machines.

Tim Costello, chief advocate for the AGR, said: “Back then Victoria started with 10,000 machines, today there are almost 30,000 poker machines and despite mandatory closing laws operators have found loopholes to provide gambling access 24 hours a day – and in some of Victoria’s most vulnerable communities.”

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