Government prioritises harm minimisation in casino legislation

Released 02/11/2017

Electronic gaming machines at the Canberra casino will be subject to some of the strictest harm minimisation measures in the country under new legislation passed by the Legislative Assembly today.

Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said the Casino (Electronic Gaming) Act 2017 will introduce mandatory pre‑commitment and $2 maximum bet limits.  The Act caps the number of machine authorisations the casino can apply to operate at 200.

“This legislation sets the framework for the casino to begin acquiring existing gaming machine authorisations. Minimising the harm that comes with electronic gaming machines and maximising the benefits to Canberra of this change are the goals of the new framework,” Minister Ramsay said.

“In order to start buying authorisations, the casino must provide a social impact assessment and this assessment must be made available for public comment for a minimum of 8 weeks.

“In addition, the casino will be required to complete a substantial redevelopment before it can begin operating any machines. What this means is that when gaming machines begin to operate at the Casino, they will be part of a renewed entertainment precinct for Canberrans to enjoy.”

Minister Ramsay said the casino will be required to connect any gaming machines it operates to an approved mandatory pre‑commitment system. The ACT is the only Australian jurisdiction to require this.

The casino will also be able to apply to operate up to 60 fully automated table game terminals.

“Both the gaming machines and the terminals must be able to be connected to a central monitoring system that supports gaming integrity, data and tax collection, as well as the setting of harm minimisation measures,” Minister Ramsay said.

“No new authorisations will be issued to the casino – they will all come from within the existing Territory maximum number.

“The requirement for the casino to acquire gaming machine authorisations from existing gaming venues will contribute to reducing the overall number of gaming machine authorisations in the ACT, with the forfeiture requirement increasing from one-in-four to one-in-three for the casino. This means that 130 machines will be taken out of circulation.”

The casino will be required to ensure at least 50 per cent of the authorisations it acquires are from small or medium clubs, club groups and hotels. This will further ensure that electronic gaming machines at the Casino come with direct community benefits.

“This is in line with the Government’s support of small and medium clubs and club groups and the assistance the ACT Government is providing to ensure these community clubs can continue to make a unique contribution to the economic and social fabric of our city,” Minister Ramsay said.

- Statement ends -

Section: Gordon Ramsay, MLA | Media Releases

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