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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 10 November 2009) . . Page.. 4689 ..

of the fact that these sorts of tournaments may lead to people going into gaming machine venues who would otherwise not do so.

Given these issues, and the availability of tournament poker at the casino, the government has decided that it is not appropriate to allow poker tournaments in clubs and hotels and has agreed with the commission that the current prohibition on poker tournaments should be maintained. In short, the risks associated with introducing this form of gambling into the territory far outweigh the possible benefits, particularly the risk of increasing the level of problem gambling in the community.

I thank the scrutiny of bills and subordinate legislation committee for their comments on the bill. The only issue raised was a suggestion that some examples of dishonest activity be included under clause 23 of the bill, as this would assist in the understanding of this provision. Clause 23 is an offence provision that relates to a person dishonestly obtaining an advantage in a gambling activity. It is intended to capture scenarios such as one where a person deliberately marks cards or tampers with dice so that they can obtain an unfair advantage over other players. This offence provision is similar to the offences of fraud and theft in that it includes an element that deals with the intent of the person to act dishonestly in order to obtain a gain or benefit. As such, the concept of dishonesty is used reasonably widely in criminal law, and we do not believe that it is necessary to add an example to this offence provision.

In closing, let me say that this bill updates and clarifies important concepts in relation to unlawful gambling and provides for lawful private and charitable gaming. The policy issues underpinning this bill have been the subject of considerable analysis from both a policy and regulatory perspective in order to produce the best practicable outcome. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2009 (No 3)

Debate resumed from 15 October 2009, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.

Education (Participation) Amendment Bill 2009

Debate resumed from 15 October 2009, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

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