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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 April 2018) . . Page.. 1268 ..

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Gaming—consumer privacy

MR RAMSAY: Yesterday I took on notice a supplementary question from Mrs Dunne following a question from Mr Parton regarding compliance checks undertaken by the Gambling and Racing Commission with clubs and whether these checks were also occurring in the casino and TABCorp. In relation to the question, I can advise that the checks undertaken by the Gambling and Racing Commission are authorised under section 23 of the Gambling and Racing Control Act. Section 23 of the act affords authorised officers specific powers of entry and inspection for the administration or enforcement of a gaming law, including the power to examine all documents and, on behalf of the commission, remove or take copies or extracts from any document.

These checks are being undertaken as a result of recent instances where multiple people on the exclusion register were found to have been playing electronic gaming machines inside multiple clubs and in these instances had received a payout of over $1,500. This is not a new power of the GRC, and they have been able to request information of this type previously. The reports that they have received regarding these excluded patrons have led them to taking this form of action for the first time.

In an effort to assist in mitigating the harm associated with problem gambling, the Gambling and Racing Control Code of Practice Regulation 2002, the code, was amended in 2014 allowing for the introduction of the online ACT gamblers exclusion database to allow for enhanced monitoring of patrons with gambling problems. In the ACT patrons of gambling facilities can self-exclude or be excluded by a licensee, and when a patron has been excluded by either of these options a licensee must not knowingly pay winnings to that excluded patron.

It is also a requirement for a gaming machine licensee to not pay winning amounts of over $1,500 in cash. The remaining sum must be paid either by EFT or cheque. Payments made by EFT or cheque provide a documentary trail that can be utilised by Access Canberra to ensure that harm minimisation measures outlined by the code are being met and that licensees are complying with their obligations by not providing payouts to those on the exclusion register. Reports can be generated from the exclusion register and be cross-referenced against the information requested from the clubs to identify whether the licensee had paid winnings to an excluded person whilst they were excluded.

Overall, the primary objective of the exercise is to determine levels of compliance within the gaming machine industry in relation to whether excluded persons are receiving payouts from gaming machine winnings. The secondary objective will be to identify any compliance deficiencies and work with industry to determine how procedures relating to the identification of excluded persons both entering venues and receiving payouts could be enhanced in order to ensure that Access Canberra and ACT clubs are working together to ensure compliance with the code.

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