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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (24 October) . . Page.. 1912 ..


MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (10.32), by leave: I present the Gaming Machine (Amendment) Bill 1995 and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.


That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

This Bill provides for amendments to the Gaming Machine Act 1987. The Licensed Clubs Association has sought Government agreement to introduce a Territory-wide interclub linked jackpot system for gaming machines. Under the proposed system, winners of jackpots would be selected at random from players playing gaming machines in the link. At present, the Act provides that linked jackpots can occur only in conjunction with a jackpot obtained on a gaming machine.

Amendments proposed in this Bill will allow winners to be selected using the random selection method proposed by the Licensed Clubs Association. The proposed method of selecting linked jackpot winners has advantages over the method currently allowable under the Act in that it allows for different models of gaming machines to be linked while still ensuring fairness to players. This will allow the use of existing gaming machines and provide flexibility in permitting clubs access to linked jackpot arrangements.

The Bill also proposes that the duration of the permits for interclub linked jackpot arrangements be extended from one year to five years. This will give permit holders sufficient time to defray the considerable costs of setting up a linked jackpot system and to attract financial backing. Rules for the conduct of linked jackpot arrangements are being developed with the industry and will be promulgated and tabled in the Assembly in the near future. The introduction of a Territory-wide interclub linked jackpot arrangement will increase the competitiveness of ACT clubs with their New South Wales counterparts and ensure that our club industry continues to be at the forefront of developments in the Australian industry.

The Bill also provides that the tax rate on club gaming machine revenue in excess of $25,000 per month will be increased from 22.5 per cent to 23.5 per cent. This increase was announced in the budget, and it is expected that the increase will raise an additional $600,000 revenue this fiscal year and $1m a year thereafter. The increase, of course, will not affect smaller clubs. The Licensed Clubs Association has been consulted and supports the additional revenue from the tax being directed to fund, at least in the first year, the ACT Sports Academy. After the first year, agreed projects in sport will be funded.

Debate (on motion by Ms Follett) adjourned.

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