By Clyde Mooney

Last Thursday Clubs ACT members unanimously agreed to delay the trial of mandatory pre-commitment in the Territory until after the Federal Election, unleashing a wave of political recriminations. 

"It would be folly to expend the money and resources on starting the trial if it was only going to be cut halfway through by an incoming coalition government," Clubs ACT boss Jeff House told AAP. 

The Coalition, which is looking destined for a strong win in September and doesn't support mandatory pre-commitment, is likely to dump the poker machine trial if it wins government. 

The trial had previously been scheduled to begin last month, and Jeff House blames interference by the Greens and independent MP Andrew Wilkie for the "delays".

Gaming Technologies Association (GTA) CEO, Ross Ferrar, spoke to TheShout – reiterating his previous thoughts on the subject of the trial. 

"No system, no network, no machines and no idea. Won’t happen in my lifetime."

Opposition families spokesman Kevin Andrews suggested that the trial was dead and buried, while independent MP Nick Xenophon described the clubs' decision as a "cynical self-serving move to stall reform".

Greens senator Richard Di Natale blames the clubs, stating the vote-down is proof they "were never serious about reform". 

Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie meanwhile claims that even without the trial, his lobbying has paved the way for mandatory pre-commitment to be introduced in the coming years, as dictated by December's reform announcement from the Gillard Government. 

"At some point in the future a Federal Government, or State or Territory Governments, can go it alone and flick the switch," Wilkie told AAP. 

The Shout Team

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

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