The community and the club industry will soon have their say about the future of the gaming machine community contributions scheme as part of an upcoming review of the scheme.
“The Government has committed to reviewing the community contributions scheme and as part of that review, I will be consulting with the community and the club industry about potential changes, starting next week,” Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said.
The Parliamentary Agreement includes a commitment to review the current community contribution scheme, with a view to maximising the direct benefit to the community from the scheme.
ACT Labor also committed in the Parliamentary Agreement to establish an independent charitable fund to distribute nominated community funds to charitable and community causes levied on venues operating electronic gaming machines in the ACT.
“A range of voices have already come forward suggesting changes that might be made to the scheme. Last year there were reports by PwC and the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), and more recently I welcomed the Auditor-General’s findings and recommendations,” Minister Ramsay said.
“Over the next month, we want to hear the community and industry’s views about what is good about the scheme, and how it could be improved or changed.
“This consultation is an important part of the review, and will inform Government decision-making about what the form the scheme should take in the future.”
“The review will also consider the experience of other jurisdictions with similar schemes. It will consider issues such as the appropriate distribution of community contributions for the purpose of gambling harm reduction and other community purposes, as well as the transparency of these arrangements. The intent is to maximise the direct benefit to the community from the scheme.
“Changes identified as part of the review will be brought forward to the Assembly later in the year,” Minister Ramsay said. “The review will also consider how best to implement any changes.”
In the coming week, the Justice and Community Safety Directorate will be in touch with clubs and other key stakeholders about how they can contribute to the review. The broader community will be able to have their say through the Government’s YourSay website.
“The scheme is an important element of clubs’ contributions to the community, but not the only element,” Minister Ramsay said.
“Clubs also contribute through paying gaming machine and other taxes, making contributions to the Problem Gambling Assistance Fund and through providing services and facilities to the community. Clubs exist, by their nature, to serve the community.
“They play an important role in many Canberrans’ lives – whether that is through a connection with their cultural heritage, participating in a sporting interest, celebrating a birthday or other significant milestone, or just relaxing at the end of the week with family and friends. “The community contributions scheme arises from the specific privilege that clubs have to conduct gambling at their venues. We want to ensure that the scheme maximises the benefits to the community and also ensures that clubs still carry out the purposes for which they were established.
- Statement ends -
Section: Gordon Ramsay, MLA | Media Releases