Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 1012 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
to which this section applies if -
(c) to grant the licence; or
(d) to increase the number of licensed gaming machines;
would result in the number of gaming machines on licensed premises exceeding 5,200.
`(3) In determining the number and type of gaming machines to be specified in a licence granted on an application, or varied on a request, to which this section applies, the Commissioner, in addition to the matters about which he or she is to be satisfied or to which he or she is to have regard under this Part, shall also have regard to -
(a) in the case of a request by a club to vary a licence - the ratio of the membership to the number and types of gaming machines in existing clubs;
(b) in the case of an application or request made by a club - the extent to which the club is likely to contribute to, support and be beneficial to the community; and
(c) such other matters as are relevant.".
Page 3, line 3, clause 4, proposed section 23C, omit from and including "to a club" to and including "exceeded:", substitute "in relation to a club that, on 24 June 1998, did not hold a licence if, having regard to the following criteria, the Commissioner is satisfied that the section should not apply in relation to that club:".
I will speak briefly to these amendments. They are mostly technical in nature. They pick up on comments made by the scrutiny of Bills committee, as well as issues that have been raised by the Government officials administering this legislation. Following discussions with Government officials, it has also emerged that there was one loophole in the legislation. The wording of the proposed section 23B would have allowed a loophole, as clubs which already hold a licence but do not currently have an application or request for a variation before the commissioner would fall outside the cap. That is clearly not the policy intention of the legislation. In coming up with amendments to close the loophole, there has been one policy change to the legislation, and that follows discussion with the Commissioner for Revenue. The commissioner is prepared to consider allocating gaming machines, within the cap, to clubs which apply for licences or variations to licences after the passage of this legislation.