By Andrew Starke

Clubs Australia is calling on the Prime Minister to rule out technology being pushed by Senator Nick Xenophon that forces Australians to scan their finger print before they play a poker machine.

The technology is stored on a USB stick and its operation is explained in a detailed submission to the Productivity Commission by its manufacturer, Responsible Gaming Networks. 

Senator Xenophon and Responsible Gaming Networks refer to the finger print scanner built into the USB stick as “bio-metric id”.

However, executive director of Clubs Australia, Anthony Ball, said the suggestion that Australians should be finger printed before they can play a poker machine is extremely dangerous and treats gamblers like criminals.

“This compulsory pre-commitment technology must be ruled out by the Prime Minister. In Australia we finger print criminals, not recreational gamblers who like to put a few dollars through the pokies at their local club,” he said.

“Recreational punters will understandably run a million miles from technology that records their gambling activity and even worse, scans their finger print.”

Citing a South Australian report which claims that a card based voluntary pre-commitment trial might see gambling revenue fall by as much as a third, Ball predicted that clubs across the country would suffer a $2 billion reduction in annual revenue.
“Treasury has already confirmed in writing that the introduction of full pre-commitment will reduce state and territory government revenues. A report by KPMG has estimated this fall to be $270million in NSW alone,” he said.
“It’s obvious no thought went into the practicalities of a compulsory pre-commitment system for all Australians when it was announced by the Prime Minister and Andrew Wilkie. It treats every gambler as a problem gambler.

“Anyone who claims compulsory pre-commitment is a magic bullet to problem gambling is trying to hoodwink the Australian public and shut down the Australian club industry.”

The Shout Team

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

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