By Andrew Starke
Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, will introduce a Private Senator's Bill during the next sitting session making one dollar the maximum bet on any poker machine in Australia.
The move follows a recommendation contained in the Productivity Commission's draft report into Gambling, released last week.
"This will be the first step in reducing the harm caused by poker machines," Xenophon said.
"The Productivity Commission has recommended this as an interim measure that can be done right now and I'm calling on the Government, the Opposition, the Greens and Family First to support this Bill."
Under current arrangements players can lose up to $1,200 an hour, but the Productivity Commission recommends a maximum hourly loss rate of $120 an hour.
This could be achieved by reducing machine speeds and cutting the maximum bet on any spin cycle to one dollar.
"$120 is still a lot of money to most people, but this is an interim measure recommended by the Commission and I believe it is a good step in the right direction," Xenophon said.
"It's time for the Prime Minister and the Government to immediately adopt this recommendation so we can reduce the harm these machines do to problem gamblers and their families across Australia.
"This move won’t impact on people who occasionally gamble on poker machines, but it will go a long way in beginning to protect people who are addicted to poker machine gambling," he added.