By Clyde Mooney

The Australian Hotels Association NSW (AHA NSW) has come out all guns blazing on the Federal Government's proposed voluntary pre-commitment gambling reforms, condemning them as "bad policy that will devastate the hotel industry".

The proposed changes will mandate that gaming machines must provide users that 'choose to register' information on their losses, time spent, pre-set limit balance, and a printout on request stating this information as well as money spent and number of times locked out over the past 12 months. 

These changes are intended to help problem gamblers who register and adhere to the voluntary lock-out. 

The Bill is scheduled to be discussed at the ALP Caucus meeting on Monday before reaching the House of Representatives, and could be pushed through Parliament as soon as next week. 

Citing figures that an average of 26 hotels in each electorate will be negatively impacted by the legislation, the AHA NSW's campaign includes newspaper and radio commercials this week and a large-scale mailbox drop this weekend across 15 key electorates in NSW and Queensland. 

The Association is calling on hotel owners to contact their local members and protest against their endorsement of the Bill. 

"The last thing we want to do is campaign against the Government, but this legislation gives us no choice. We have been forced to defend ourselves against bad policy that will devastate the hotel industry," said AHA NSW CEO, Paul Nicolaou. 

"It will cost NSW and Queensland pubs and clubs a billion dollars to implement unproven technology due to the Government's forced replacement timeline."

One of the Bill's opening statements raises serious doubts about its effectiveness in tackling problem gambling: "While gaming machines are required to have pre-commitment systems, users of gaming machines may choose whether to register and set a loss limit through those pre-commitment systems." 

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Please AHA…you already have the evidence that voluntary pre-commitment is only used by a paltry 2% of people [Singapore research?] so that is not what frightens you at all. It does not frighten the government either as it will be business as usual, all around.

    ALL poker machine gamblers should be made to get that very licence to punt you knocked so much. That is your Achilles Heel and you know it.

    You regularly say that research should be evidence-based? What evidence do you use? You will not even devise a system that counts your gamblers, let alone find what each and every gambler spends!

    A licence would discover that, plus it would bring with it a mandatory ID card, with self-limiting and private self-exclusion tools and information required for good budgeting…like a spending record…tools like your online gamblers already all may use, since they must first register to gamble on internet sites.

    Tabcorp Holdings changed their machines from cards to coin some years ago…seamlessly within a matter of a week or so, at no doubt reasonable cost? Machine manufacturers have had years to prepare for card technology. Stop you confected moaning. You are laughing all the way to the bank.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *