Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 5 Hansard (13 May) . . Page.. 1869..
Debate (on motion by Mr Wood ) adjourned to the next sitting.
Gaming Machine Amendment Bill 2004 (No 3)
Ms Dundas , pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.
Title read by Clerk.
MS DUNDAS (8.47): I move:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
The objective of the Gaming Machine Amendment Bill 2004 (No 3) is to ensure that Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are not present in venues that are licensed to operate gaming machines under the Gaming Machine Act 1987. The ACT Gambling and Racing Commission's review of the Gaming Machine Act 1987 recommended that ATMs be prohibited from gaming licensee's premises. This recommendation was based on research conducted by the Productivity Commission in Australia's gambling industries and from the survey of the Australian Institute of Gambling Research on the nature and extent of gambling and problem gambling in the ACT. This bill, most simply, seeks to implement the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission's recommendation.
The bill only prohibits ATMs in gaming venues, but not EFTPOS facilities, ensuring patrons may still have access to cash facilities at gaming premises. This is in line with the recommendation from the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission. As the commission points out:
... the benefits of EFTPOS facilities compared to ATMs include:
Users are generally restricted to smaller limits of cash (venue imposed limits);
Gaming machine licensees should become more aware of users that repeatedly use the EFTPOS facilities (particularly in a short period of time). This would assist the providers in identifying possible problem gamblers and enable them to take the appropriate action ... (provision of contacts for counselling, etc);
Patrons with a need for cash are still able to access cash ...;
Problem gamblers will be subjected to a reality check should they require cash ...
Interacting with another human being provides a check on time and a check on the amount of money that has already been spent. This is a really important part of helping problem gamblers realise what they are doing.
Research conducted by the federal government's Productivity Commission shows that problem gamblers are the biggest users of ATMs in gaming venues. Ninety per cent of patrons who are not problem gamblers say they use the machines rarely or never whereas 75 per cent of problem gamblers use the machines regularly to withdraw cash. The removal of ATMs from gambling venues is targeted squarely at problem gamblers. It is