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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 23 August 2018) . . Page.. 3499 ..


community focused. The government will be offering incentives as recommended by this report.

The incentives will focus on helping small and medium clubs which contribute to the diversity of the industry. They will be eligible for up to $12,000 cash per authorisation voluntarily surrendered by 31 January 2019. For-profit hotels will receive $6,000 cash per authorisation surrendered. Hotels are exempt from compulsory surrender and as a group hold 50 authorisations in total. These can only be used for outdated class-B gaming machines that are being phased out. There will be no cash incentives for large clubs.

The Stevens report recommended providing offsets for land-related fees and charges in exchange for authorisations across the sector. The offsets could be applied to lease variation charges and other land, planning and building-related fees. Offsets will be available to large clubs at a rate of $15,000 per authorisation. Small and medium clubs and club groups can choose to take up the option at a higher rate of $25,000 per authorisation. Since cash incentives are also available to them, small and medium clubs can choose to forfeit some authorisations for cash and others for offsets in a combination that will best support their plans.

Clubs that choose to go pokie free by getting rid of all their authorisations will be rewarded with a 25 per cent bonus on top of other incentives. In order to be eligible for this bonus the venue will be required to maintain community facilities for five years and cannot apply to have gaming machines again during that period.

These incentives are designed to reach our target of reducing the maximum number of pokie machines by 946 from the current 4,946. Clubs who take up the incentives will have the option of buying back authorisations they surrender through the trading scheme subject to the forfeiture provisions of the scheme.

The government will engage Mr Stevens to help clubs work through their options. His report shows a thorough understanding of the industry. As an independent expert he will be best placed to help clubs develop their plans for engagement. We believe this package will achieve our target of 4,000 authorisations jointly with the clubs industry.

After 31 January 2019 any remaining authorisations above 4,000 will be compulsorily surrendered. The default will be 20 per cent for all clubs over 20 machines. Legislation will be introduced later this year to provide for compulsory surrender in two rounds, the first in April 2019 and the second in April 2020. Clear timelines have been sent to all clubs to support them in engaging in this process. Clubs that do not voluntarily engage will have the maximum number of authorisations they can own permanently reduced.

One of the most important features of the government response is that the trading scheme will continue. This means that clubs can continue to trade authorisations with one in four being forfeited. Over time this will reduce the maximum number of authorisations in the territory below 4,000. We are committed to reviewing the trading scheme and the 4,000 cap in five years to give time for the scheme to work. This will


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