The majority of Victoria’s population supports proposed mandatory pre-commitment limitations and prepaid cards on all pokies across the state that the Government of Premier Andrews has previously committed to. So far, however, local lawmakers have not announced any deadline for the implementation of the reforms.
Recently, The Age revealed that, according to a survey conducted by Resolve Political Monitor, 57% of poll respondents in the state supported the proposed implementation of stricter measures on Victorian poker machines. Under the reforms, all gamblers in the state will have to set some pre-commitment limits for their daily losses on pokies. The report stated that only one in 10 Victorians was against the proposed reform that will also require local gamblers to use so-called cashless gaming cards for poker machine play. So far, approximately one-third of the survey respondents have not made a decision on whether they backed the Government’s plans or not.
The measures unveiled by Government officials also included some reforms of pokies’ operating hours that would see all venues except Crown casino shut them from 4:00 AM to 10:00 AM, as of mid-2024.
As Casino Guardian already reported, the Andrews Government unveiled its plans for the aforementioned regulatory reform in July as part of a massive overhaul of the Victorian electronic gambling sector. At the time, the state’s Premier claimed that the changes would provide the state of Victoria with the strictest gambling and anti-money laundering measures in the entire nation.
Premier Andrews Does Not Announce Any Timeline for the Announced Gambling Reform
The Government of Premier Andrews has not unveiled a timeline for the implementation of the changes mentioned above, saying that such changes would be subject to further consultation between Victorian lawmakers and the local gambling industry. Brick-and-mortar venues, including the ones operating in the clubs sector, have until September 20th to submit feedback on the matter that will be then taken into consideration by the Government as part of the gambling industry’s overhaul process.
Carol Bennett, who currently heads the anti-gambling advocate group Alliance for Gambling Reform, welcomed the announcement of the planned reform but also noted that the state could hardly claim it had the strictest gambling rules in Australia until it unveiled an official start date for the aforementioned pre-commitment rules for the Victorian 27,372 pokies.
Previously, the state’s Government announced mandatory pre-commitment rules for the Crown casino’s 2,628 poker machines after the Finkelstein Royal Commission made such recommendations as part of a 2021 probe.
Furthermore, Victoria is not the first state that has unveiled pre-commitment rules for controversial pokies. In 2022, Tasmania became the first Australian state to announce prepaid cards for poker machines that are planned to be officially implemented by December 2024.
Local experts also warn that many of the Andrews Government’s reforms, including the alterations set to be brought to load limits and spit rates, do not go far enough to make sure that the state of Victoria will be brought into line with other Australian states’ poker machine-related reforms.
Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.