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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 6 Hansard (9 June) . .

Page.. 1906..

Gaming and Racing (Red Tape Reduction) Legislation Amendment Bill 2016

Mr Gentleman, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning and Land Management, Minister for Racing and Gaming and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations) (11.27): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Today I am pleased to introduce the Gaming and Racing (Red Tape Reduction) Legislation Amendment Bill 2016. This amendment bill will amend six acts and regulations under the ACT gaming and racing suite of legislation. The amendments I introduce today reduce red tape across a number of industries and organisations and also respond to recommendation 13 of the recent public accounts committee report on the inquiry into elements impacting on the future of the ACT clubs.

I am sure the Assembly would agree that it is important for gambling activities to be properly regulated at all times. So even though the bill provides for a flexible risk-based regulatory approach where appropriate, the amendments do not compromise the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission's regulatory oversight of the industry's integrity.

Madam Assistant Speaker, put simply, where amendments can be made for regulatory reform, this will be done. But it will not be at the expense of harm-minimisation principles that are there to protect the community and minimise problem gambling.

The amendment bill removes the requirement for licensees to display licences and authorisation certificates; modifies the requirement to display percentage payout information on gaming machines to a requirement to display an approved statement; provides easier access to clubs for interstate visitors as they will no longer need to be accompanied by a member; clarifies arrangements so that licensees can more easily quarantine gaming machines from use; and implements a simplified licensing framework for race bookmakers and their agents to operate under, including the ability to renew licences.

To achieve all this, the government has been innovative in its thinking, and today I present an amendment bill that removes the past trend of rigid enforcement. We have removed the administrative burden of having to display licences and authorisation certificates at each main entrance of a gaming area. However, to ensure transparency, clubs will be required to show their licence or authorisation certificate to a person if requested.

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