Victoria Minister for Gaming Michael O’Brien
Tougher Bans On Cash Machines In Gaming Venues
Victor P Taffa
The Victorian Coalition Government will introduce new laws next year to extend the ban on automatic teller machines (ATMs) in gaming venues to apply to any cash access device that does not require the customer to interact with venue staff before a decision to withdraw cash is actioned by the customer.
Minister for Gaming Michael O’Brien said the Coalition Government had taken decisive action in response to indications that new cash dispensing machines are being marketed to gaming venue operators ahead of the ban on ATMs coming into operation on 1 July 2012.
The ban will cover all cash access devices that do not require interaction with venue staff before any decision to withdraw cash is actioned by the customer.
“We are aware that there are new devices in the market that are designed to circumvent the forthcoming prohibition on ATMs in gaming venues.” Mr. O’Brien said.
“Because these devices are not technically ATMs, they are not caught by the existing ban. Unlike traditional EFTPOS machines, some of these new devices allow a person to initiate a cash transaction without interacting with venue staff.”
“The Coalition Government will not allow the ban on ATMs in gaming venues to be undermined by new devices that may offer problem gamblers easy access to cash in venues.”
“These changes are an important step to ensure a safer gaming environment for all patrons.”
“We are announcing this impending legislative change now to give fair notice to venue operators and so there is more clarity on the types of cash access devices that will be permitted in gaming venues following the removal of ATMs.”
“The ban on ATMs in gaming venues is an important part of the Coalition Government’s strategy to minimise gambling-related harm and will stop any who might seek to work around the ATM ban in the legislation.”
“These measures will provide patrons an opportunity to take a break from gaming before accessing cash from an ATM or similar cash facility.”
The ban will still allow cash withdrawal transactions to be made at gaming venues where there is face-to-face interaction with staff such as occurs through traditional EFTPOS facilities.
The Productivity Commission’s 2010 Report into Gambling found that face-to-face interaction when making a withdrawal is less risky as it can deter problem gamblers from withdrawing large sums of money.
“The Coalition Government is committed to taking strong and effective action to tackle problem gambling.” Mr. O’Brien said.
“The government has recently allocated $150 Million to tackle problem gambling through the establishment of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, the largest financial commitment in Victoria’s history to reducing problem gambling.”