By Ian Neubauer
Representatives of the gaming industry expressed both support and concern over last week’s decision by Premier John Brumby to ban ATMs from gaming venues in Victoria.
Australasian Gaming Machine Manufacturers Association (AGMA) executive officer, Ross Ferrar, said the move would create a serious security issue for customers forced to exit and return to venues to withdraw cash from ATMs after dark.
Ferrar also said the move would prove unpopular with hospitality employees accustomed to utilising ATM facilities at their places of employment.
“We are concerned with security issues in all these cases,” he said.
Aruze marketing manager, Todd Triebler, said he supported the decision as long as it gets results.
“If banning ATMs from the immediate gaming area reduces the harm that problem gamblers face without adversely affecting venues’ ability to generate gaming revenue, then we support it,” Triebler said.
“But if it does not help it could be a step backwards. They should look at it again six to 12 months [after it is implemented] to see if it has worked. Because if not it has been a waste of time,” he said.
The ban will come into effect when current licensing arrangements for Victoria’s wagering and poker machine sectors expire on Jan 1, 2013.
The ban will not apply to very small towns or standalone pubs where no other ATM service is readily available.