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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 2468 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

These amendments, in addition to assisting the regulator, will also make it easier for those who are subject to each law to understand their obligations and therefore make compliance easier. The bulk of the amendments are minor technical corrections. However, there are amendments of some substance and I will touch on some of them.

The Casino Control Act and the Gaming Machine Act are to be amended to provide some measure of consistency with the Interactive Gambling Act in the area of the power to give directions. The regulator has also been given disciplinary powers. The harm minimisation provisions in all three Acts are to be amended. The Gaming Machine Act will expressly prohibit under 18-year-olds being in gaming areas, and the provisions relating to exclusion and/or self-exclusion of patrons from gambling venues have been enhanced.

The Interactive Gambling Act will provide for the provisional registration of players. This amendment recognises the nature of Internet activities and will provide a real alternative for people who may consider accessing an unregulated site. The amendment has appropriate safeguards to maintain the integrity of the regulatory regime and, as far as practicable, prohibit gambling by minors. It is worth pointing out, Mr Speaker, that the Commonwealth Productivity Commission in its draft report on Australia's gambling industries, which was released recently, noted that because of the regulatory restrictions which the Interactive Gambling Act embodies the risk of access by minors to interactive gambling without parental consent is likely to be significantly lower than their access to physical sites.

The Gaming Machine Act is to be amended to allow, in special circumstances, for gaming machines to be installed at other than licensed premises. For example, machines will be allowed to be installed at the Canberra Institute of Technology specifically for use in its hospitality training courses. I anticipate that, in view of the Productivity Commission's draft report, the institute will be revisiting its curricula to ensure that such training courses also include material about responsible gambling and harm minimisation.

As I said earlier, Mr Speaker, this is the first review of this kind in relation to the Casino Control Act since 1988, and similarly for the Gaming Machine Act. The amendments to the Interactive Gambling Act arise from experience in its administration. Mr Speaker, I commend the Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Quinlan ) adjourned.


MR SPEAKER: Before I call the Clerk for the next item of business, I would like to recognise the presence in the gallery of people from the Wesley Uniting Church who are studying local government. Welcome to your Assembly.

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