Industry Reports

Australian Capital Territory Clubs Poised to Thwart Pokies Pre-Commitment Discussion

Yesterday Casino Reports wrote an article regarding the measures, which Canberra considers to discuss at a roundtable conference to enhance the concept of responsible gambling. Among all other things, pre-commitment systems were suggested to be installed on the poker machines, located in clubs. Interesting enough is the fact that just a month ago, a similar bill targeting poker machines, but in casinos, suggested the installation of such pre-commitment systems, but clubs managed to get away with it. Now, it seems that the officials draw a bead on the video poker machines in clubs. This resulted in the clubs’ attempt to thwart the officials’ plan to introduce a gambling reform, suggesting their own ideas for minimizing the possible harm caused by gambling.

It was reported that Canberra Community clubs has issued a discussion document that presents various ideas to encourage responsible gambling among the players. The paper was introduced ahead of the scheduled roundtable conference on Friday, which is to discuss the future of the pokies in clubs. Both players and operators are expected to meet with Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay and representatives of the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) government to join forces against gambling addiction.

Canberra Community Clubs’ Reaction

The Canberra Community Clubs voluntarily suggested their own plan to fight gambling problems. It became clear that the project focuses on a social education system, aiming to open people’s eyes to the risks of gambling. Moreover, the plan involves a training program for their employees, so that they can adequately help gambling addicts to face the problem and cope with it. It was also suggested that people with gambling problems should avoid to pass by gambling venues and find another activity to distract their minds.

The Canberra Community Clubs chair Athol Chalmers explained that the clubs do not take a stance on the pre-commitment systems. He added that all the community launched their own research on the matter, which showed that these pre-commitment systems are not completely efficient. Mr. Chalmers urged the officials not to take hasty decisions, but to take into account all evidence.

As explained before, the pre-commitment system is a special technology installed on video slot and poker machines, which requires players to set a loss limit prior to their gambling session. Earlier this month, Australian Gambling Research Centre reported that around 8% of the Australian population suffer such gambling problems. It was explained that the reason for the startling figure is that most of the pokie players do not pay attention to their losses, as the amounts are usually not that big. But drop by drop a river is formed, so players, most probably, do not have even a clue how much money do they lose in fact.