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Victorian Greens and ALP strike deal to restrict poker machines

Greens and ALP agree on poker machine reform in Victoria.
The Allan Government has agreed to poker machine reform put forward by the Greens. Picture: ALP.

Victorians are set to be restricted to losing $50 per day on poker machines after Jacinta Allan’s government struck a deal with the Greens.

The restrictions are set to force more Victorian pokies venues out of business, with many relying on the revenue from slot machines and gambling.

The Victorian Greens made the announcement in a press release, saying the $50 daily bet limit was aimed at curbing problem gambling.

The Greens and Victorian ALP have also agreed to overhaul the Community Benefit Scheme, which critics say provide a tax break for gambling venues.

Greens Spokesperson for Gambling Harm Reduction Katherine Copsey said these measures would have an immediate impact on Victorians being targeted by “predatory poker machines”.

“The Government needs to implement meaningful gambling harm reforms without delay and the Greens are pleased to have secured a commitment to a $50 daily default loss limit,” she said.

“This practical reform will have a real impact in curbing the horrible impacts predatory poker machines have on Victorians.” 

“The Community Benefits scheme isn’t delivering for communities, instead it’s offering a lucrative tax break for poker machine clubs. We look forward to working closely on overhauling this broken scheme.”

“The Greens are committed to continuing our work to reform this dangerous industry that profits off misery and harm.”

The last Victorian Government, under Daniel Andrews, announced a raft of changes to electronic gambling machine regulation in Victoria in July, 2023.

Under these reforms, to play pokies, players will have to agree to mandatory pre-commitment limits and carded play. They also announced, at the time, that poker machines daily limits were to be capped at $100, down from $1000.

The Greens said they had secured the support of the Allan Government by agreeing to back the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation repeal and advisory councils bill.

The latest round of reforms are set to be introduced when carded poker machine play comes into force in 2025.

Our take on Victoria’s proposed gambling reform is committed to safe and responsible gambling practices, but the latest changes to poker machine regulation is set to drive many more venues to the wall, which will have a knock-on effect on communities and sports clubs.

Problem gamblers are also set to be driven to unregulated offshore online casinos to play pokies, which is the worst possible scenario for these people.

Australia is one of the few western countries that is yet to regulate online casinos, with 1000s of unlicensed gambling sites targeting Aussies.

The solution? set up a national gambling regulator, using the United Kingdom Gambling Commission as a model and create a safe environment for Australians to gamble.

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Dr. Kate Roberts
Dr. Kate Roberts
26 days ago

This industry comment assumes every person experiencing gambling harms will transition to an online product if denied easy access to poker machines. This is not factual, as people who gamble regularly usually stick to one product. $25billion is lost to gambling each year in Australia, over 50% is lost on land based poker machines. These products are the biggest cause of gambling harms and need to be more stringently regulated. If that means less of them on our streets so be it and venues will need to diversify or close. This industry has had a license to “print money” for far too long, in NSW since 1956. Consumer safety is now a priority, too many individuals, families and communities have been hurting for too long. It’s time for significant reform.

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