The local media Canberratimes reported earlier today that on Friday, 15th September, Canberra is to discuss any possible measures, aiming to curb gambling problems and prevent social ills. Among all the measures, a central place will take pokies pre-commitments systems in clubs. For the most efficient result, industry-involved people, officials, and players will discuss various ideas at a roundtable conference. Hopes are placed that the joint work will provide a more efficient result.
Pre-commitment systems for Pokies to Appear under the Spotlight
Problem gambling was a concern, voiced by most of the countries with a regulated gambling industry. Canberra is not an exception to the rule, as the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government is exploring various ways to prevent people from the addictive nature of gambling and financial losses. The idea to introduce pre-commitments for pokies seems to gather momentum, as it is a potential solution to the problem, or at least part of it. In that way, players will be unable to fall into the trap of chasing their losses, as they will be required to stop playing the moment they reach a certain limit.
Players, Operators and Officials Join Forces
It was explained that the roundtable conference is to gather players, operators and officials at one place, to face the problem together and cope with it. The former problem gambler Professor Laurie Brown and Steven Willis (a prominent upholder of the responsible gambling concept) are approved to visit the meeting. They will share their views on the matter with ACT Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay and ACT Gambling and Racing Commission chief executive David Snowden on Friday.
Clubs ACT chair Kim Marshall, Canberra Community Clubs chair Athol Chalmers and Labor Club group chief executive Arthur Roufogalis will attend the meeting, presenting the operators’ viewpoint. Apart from the aforementioned participants, other important figures will become part of the conference, including ACT Council of Social Services director Susan Helyer, Care Financial director Carmel Franklin, Canberra Gambling Reform Alliance co-chair Jeremy Halcrow and Lifeline ACT chief executive Carrie Leeson.
Highest Tier Achieved So Far in Fighting Gambling Problems
It is interesting to note that a bill introduced last month focuses namely on the poker machines pre-commitments systems. Supposing the bill enters Australia’s legal code, players will be required to set in advance a loss limit, covering a period of 24 hours when playing poker machines at a casino. The upcoming conference, though, is to discuss the implementation of such pre-commitment systems also in clubs.
Mr. Ramsay explained that so far, the government included a number of measures to reduce the harm of gambling, but such a fast-developing industry requires more attention. He pointed out that the combination of the measures will encourage responsible gambling among players and prevent from social ills.