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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1993 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 August 1993) . . Page.. 2482 ..


GAMING MACHINE (AMENDMENT) BILL 1993

[COGNATE BILL:

TAXATION (ADMINISTRATION) (AMENDMENT) BILL 1993]

Debate resumed from 17 June 1993, on motion by Ms Follett:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Is it the wish of the Assembly to debate this order of the day concurrently with the Taxation (Administration) (Amendment) Bill 1993? There being no objection, that course will be followed. I remind members that, in debating order of the day No. 1, they may also address their remarks to order of the day No. 2.

MR KAINE (4.20): My remarks are essentially directed towards the Gaming Machine (Amendment) Bill. The other Bill is in the nature of a consequential amendments Bill and I have nothing in particular to say about it. The Gaming Machine (Amendment) Bill deals mostly with machinery matters designed to improve the business environment in which the club industry operates its mechanised gaming activities, but it also imposes a tax; so in that sense it is a money Bill.

The Government will be relieved, I am sure, to learn that the Liberal Party will not be attacking the policies which the Bill implements. We certainly expect the Government to plug as many holes in the revenue pipeline as it can and to increase the pumping pressure. I am pleased that the Bill taxes all the profits of illegal machines. There will be enforcement problems, and I hope that the ACT does not have to create its own untouchables to enforce a policy that should work more as a deterrent than as a punishment. In an ideal world there would be no illegal gaming machines, nobody paying 100 per cent tax, and no untouchables telling the doorman, "Rosemary sent me".

The Liberals hope that linked jackpots will yield a positive revenue outcome. We believe that the Bill does a useful service to the club industry by letting them deal directly with machine suppliers instead of having to commission the tax commissioner to do their shopping. Hopefully, the new purchasing regime will reduce administration costs in the tax office. The Liberals like the way that the proposed multi-stake machines will let ACT clubs compete on equal terms with those across the border in New South Wales. We do not oppose the proposed $10 stake ceiling on such machines. At the same time, we urge the Government not to lose sight of the social effects of the increased upper limits to bets. We support machines of the same class and stake value offering different percentage pay-outs as a benefit to clubs and to players. We certainly endorse the proposals for clubs, rather than the Commissioner for Revenue, to conduct ballots on whether to seek or to cancel a licence, and we have no problems with what the Bill provides for clubs which have gone over the limit with life membership.


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