Discussion Paper Released For Gaming Venues

Discussion Paper Released For Gaming Venues

Victoria Minister for Gaming Michael O’Brien

Victorians Invited To Have Their Say On Pre-Commitment For Gaming Venues

Victor P Taffa

Victorians will be able to have their say on the implementation of a pre-commitment system for gaming venues after the release of a discussion paper today by the Victorian Coalition Government.

The Coalition Government’s consultative approach stands in stark contrast to the mandatory pre-commitment policy of the Gillard Government, which is being imposed with no mandate and no public consultation.

Gaming Minister Michael O’Brien said responses to the discussion paper will inform the Coalition Government’s decision on a preferred pre-commitment model to be implemented in Victoria.

“The Coalition Government is a strong supporter of voluntary pre-commitment and is committed to introducing the technology to gaming venues across Victoria.” Mr. O’Brien said.

“Pre-commitment helps gamblers to retain control of their gambling and empowers them to set their limit before they start gambling, while providing real-time information during play.”

“This discussion paper is the next step we are taking in working with the community, clubs and pubs with gaming facilities and problem gambling groups on implementing our pre-commitment policy.”

Mr. O’Brien said the Coalition Government remained opposed to the Gillard Government’s proposal to implement a national mandatory pre-commitment scheme.

“The Coalition Government does not believe that players should be forced to sign up for a pre-commitment card in order to play a gaming machine.” Mr. O’Brien said.

“While problem gamblers who do not want to modify their behaviour will be the first to sign up for a compulsory card and set a high limit, such a system will deter the vast majority of casual, responsible players.”

Mr. O’Brien also warned that the Gillard Government’s arrogant attempt to impose its flawed pre-commitment policy on Victoria is affecting the implementation of Victoria’s pre-commitment model which was endorsed by Victorians at last year’s election.

“In order to avoid imposing unnecessary costs on industry, the Coalition Government seeks alignment with the Commonwealth on basic technical functionality to be provided by any pre-commitment system.” Mr. O’Brien said.

“Unfortunately the uncertainty created by the Gillard Government’s ill-considered political fix is causing delays and putting Victoria’s implementation target dates at risk.”

The discussion paper seeks comments on topics such as:
· The proposed features and processes to provide pre-commitment;
· Incentives and other factors to encourage players to use the technology;
· Technical options for how pre-commitment could be implemented;
· Options for who could be a pre-commitment provider.

Once the public consultation process is complete, the Coalition Government will determine a preferred pre-commitment model for Victoria and the public will be given an opportunity to comment on the model through a regulatory impact statement process in 2012.