By Ian Neubauer
State and territory gambling ministers will meet in Melbourne on June 12 to discuss Federal Government initiatives to address problem gambling and state dependence on gambling taxes.
The meeting will represent the first union of the Ministerial Council of Gambling (MCG) since 2006. The MCG was established by the Howard Government in 2000 to provide a forum for the development of effective gambling interventions.
Initiatives to be discussed at the June meeting will include a proposal to ban ATMs from venues with gaming amenities; ‘host responsibility programs’ that would see specially trained staff members approach problem gamblers and offer assistance; financial incentives to break state dependence on gaming taxes; and a smartcard that would require gamblers to set predetermined weekly limits.
A number of these initiatives already exist on the state level. Gaming venues in South Australia are required to appoint staff members to monitor and communicate with problem gamblers, while the Victorian Government last month approved the removal of ATMs from gaming venues by 2012.
Crown Casino and remote or stand-alone Victorian hotels will be exempt from the new regulation.