Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (21 May) . . Page.. 449 ..
MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (10.35): Mr Speaker, I present the Gaming Machine (Amendment) Bill 1998, together with its explanatory memorandum.
Title read by Clerk.
MS CARNELL: I move:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
Mr Speaker, this Bill amends the Gaming Machine Act 1987 - the Act - to prohibit the acquisition, installation or operation of gaming machines in the buildings and precinct of Canberra Airport. The Commonwealth Airports Act 1996 regulations provide for the total prohibition of gaming activities at Canberra Airport, whether involving the use of a machine or otherwise. Upon the lease of the Canberra Airport to the Capital Airport Group, Commonwealth legislation to prohibit gaming activity will no longer apply.
Mr Speaker, as a consequence of the lease of the airport, the precinct will undergo a substantial redevelopment to become a major commercial and transport hub. In this case, should the redevelopment contemplate outlets and commercial operations similar to other major commercial precincts in the ACT, the total prohibition of all forms of gambling at the airport would not allow newsagents to sell instant scratch lottery tickets, Tattersalls or New South Wales lotteries within the Canberra Airport precinct. Current Commonwealth regulations do not even permit the sale of raffle or art union tickets for charitable purposes.
Mr Speaker, with the commencement of the new arrangements at the Canberra Airport, the Government believes this situation is contrary to the best interests of the airport lessee, commercial operators and the general public, who have a right to expect the same level of services provided by other ACT commercial operations. The Unlawful Games Act 1984 already prohibits a range of gaming activity in the ACT, including lotteries and pool betting schemes that are not approved by the Lotteries Act 1964 and the Pool Betting Act 1964 and other games of skill or chance, while casino-type activities are prohibited under the casino development agreement. This Bill, therefore, does not propose to prohibit "soft gaming products" within the Canberra Airport, such as instant scratch lottery tickets, lotto, raffles and art unions; but simply to ensure consistent government regulation of the Territory's gaming machines.
Debate (on motion by Mr Quinlan) adjourned.