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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 June 2018) . . Page.. 2002 ..


redevelopment of the casino and its precinct will be required before any electronic gaming products can be operated.

In order for the casino licensee to start acquiring the authorisations, it will need to eventually operate gaming machines or FATG terminals. It will have to be issued an authorisation certificate. That certificate will only be issued after a social impact assessment has been completed.

As is set out in the bill, the new casino electronic gaming regulation of 2018 will require details of the redevelopment of the casino and its precinct to be provided as part of the SIA. The casino licensee will need to demonstrate to the community, and to the Gambling and Racing Commission, the economic and social benefits of its proposal, and that the redevelopment warrants the number of gaming machines and FATG terminals it is seeking to operate.

In addition, when considering whether to convert any restricted authorisations so that electronic gaming operations can commence, the casino advisory panel will consider the casino licensee’s compliance with any agreement with the territory about the redevelopment of the casino and the casino precinct.

The bill also includes a measure to ensure that the stringent gambling harm reduction measures that were passed in the Assembly last year cannot be undermined. Any gaming machines that are operated within 200 metres of the casino by a gaming machine licensee that is related to the casino licensee will be subject to the same harm minimisation measures as casino gaming machines. These measures include a maximum bet level of $2, mandatory precommitment to a set loss limit, and connection to a central monitoring system. This government is also progressing its commitment to reducing gambling harm through the reduction of the number of gaming or machine authorisations in the territory.

There has been some interest by the media about the amendment included in this bill that delays the commencement of schedule 1 of the Gaming Machine (Reform) Amendment Act 2015. Under this schedule, the ratio of 15 gaming machine authorisations per 1,000 adults was to commence from 31 August 2018 at the latest, with a pro-rata compulsory surrender of authorisations from all but the smallest clubs. These provisions were to be the second phase of the gaming machine trading scheme.

In line with an increased awareness of the risks of gambling harm, a population-based ratio for the number of authorisations no longer represents government policy. We have committed to reduce the number of gaming machine authorisations in the territory to no more than 4,000 by 2020, and we are working with industry towards achieving that outcome.

The report from Mr Stevens’ club industry diversification support analysis will be soon considered by government, including his findings and his recommendations. As a result, this bill includes a provision that delays the commencement of the population-based ratio for 12 months. However, it is my intention to bring forward amendments before that time that will remove the ratio and include new provisions about the pathway to 4,000 authorisations.


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