CANBERRA PASSES REDUCTION OF POKER MACHINES
The ACT Legislative Assembly passed a gambling reform that slashes the number of poker machines from 4,000 to 2,020.
Australia.- The number of poker machines on gaming floors is set to be drastically reduced after the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Legislative Assembly passed gambling reforms on Tuesday. The reform forces clubs in Canberra to surrender machine licences from April next year, in order to reach their 2,020 machines goal down from the current 4k.
The territory’s clubs will also be forced to pay larger contributions as they have been raised to 8.8% of net gaming revenue. However, the new scheme will see the extra 0.8% being controlled by the government.
The reform generated protests from the clubs sector about the revenue lost as they forfeit poker machines, but was passed anyway. Clubs will also be required to report contributions to political parties or associated entities and will have a 2% cap on in-kind support given by large clubs and club groups.
Both Labor and Greens Assembly members backed the new legislation and won over the opposition. Furthermore, the Liberals’ gaming spokesman Mark Parton accused the government of failing to properly check with the community over the changes and had ignored Clubs ACT. Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay assured he had offered Clubs ACT two meetings with government officials but they were unable to attend.