By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
It has been announced that the Victorian Government will be reviewing gaming machine arrangements, well in advance of the current industry structure that will expire on 15 August 2022.
Under the current structure, venues must have a gaming entitlement for each machine they possess. The entitlements last 10 years and expire in 2022. This review, undertaken by the Department of Justice & Regulation (DJR), is due for completion in July 2016, when it will be presented to the Government.
The review will assess the current entitlement model and whether it has been effective in considering how venues own and operate their gaming machines.
The Gaming Machine Arrangements Review will investigate several issues, in determining whether the current model has been constructive. It will also review whether revenue from gaming is fairly distributed between clubs and hotels, whether entitlements should be issued for longer than the current 10-year term, how to price new entitlements, and how to allocate them. It will also consider if the workings of the entitlement transfer market are effective.
The DJR will conduct the review in consultation with the Departments of Premier and Cabinet and Treasury and Finance. It will also consult with the industry itself, the Victorian community and Government stakeholders.
Responsible gambling and problem gambling policies will not fall under the scope of the review, however the current harm minimisation measures will be assessed.
The first stage of the review process – due for completion in July 2016 – will conduct a general assessment of the current entitlement model and review any changes required. The second stage will implement any reforms suggested in the first stage of the review.