Page 4959 - Week 13 - Thursday, 2 November 2017

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I think there is some confusion over what harm minimisation measures would apply to fully automated table games. In parts of the legislation it is somewhat unclear as to which harm minimisation measures would apply to the FATGs and if they would be the same as with the poker machines. Although it appears Mr Rattenbury believes in his heart they would apply to the FATGs, in practical reality they cannot. I would like to run through this for the benefit of Mr Rattenbury and perhaps Mr Ramsay himself.

A fully automated table game replicates a casino game in the form of a machine. Let’s take, for example, roulette. The FATG would present a roulette table on the screen and enable the player through a touchscreen facility to place bets on the roulette table in the same way they could on a real table. The biggest single difference is no actual staff are required. Strangely enough, these two parties over here have spent all morning carping about how we do not care about workers and these fully automated gaming tables, as they say in their name, are fully automated; no staff required.

But back to the crux of the matter—the bet limits. How can you possibly have a $1 maximum bet level on FATG? So you are down playing roulette on this fully automated table game. You move to put a $1 chip on your favourite number, number seven, and that is it. You cannot do anything else on that spin, because that would exceed the limit. That is clearly completely unworkable. The only way that could be even marginally possible is with one cent chips, and nobody is going to play a roulette machine with one cent chips.

Although the legislation suggests that the FATGs must be compatible with this mythical central monitoring system, I am still unsure of the practicalities of that. We will be asking international visitors who probably attend other casinos in other locations to go through this process of giving all their personal details and—I don’t know—their licence, their bank account details and many other things. We will be getting them to put pen to paper and pledge their precommitment to allow them to play a fully automated table gaming machine with one cent gaming chips. What is that even about?

Unlike most of those opposite, I have run a small business and I understand basic profit and loss. So let’s do the maths on this. Under the legislation the casino would be purchasing 390 authorisations. They have been going for an average of $15,000 per licence, so we start at $5,850,000 to purchase the authorisations. Gaming manufacturers have come up with a very conservative figure as to what each actual machine will cost. Bearing in mind that no gaming manufacturer actually makes $1 or $2 machines these machines have to be developed from scratch and then manufactured just for this mini jurisdiction.

I am told that if you were buying 200 of the machines available now it would probably cost you 20 grand each, $20,000 per unit. But these being totally new machines developed from scratch they would be, conservatively, $60,000 per machine. We are talking 200 times 60,000, which equals $12,000,000. So we are just shy of $18,000,000 before we even start with purchasing FATGs and the development of a precommitment system from scratch.

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