The Government of Victoria, Australia’s second most populated state, has announced a full suite of new gambling reforms which should manage to reduce harms produced by electronic gaming machines.
Venues that operate electronic gaming machines, colloquially known in Australia as “pokies”, will have to introduce mandatory pre-commitment limits, identity verification, curfews between 4 am and 10 am and a reduced spin speed.
Daniel Andrews, the Prime Minister of Victoria, has labeled the reforms as “the strongest gambling harm prevention and anti-money laundering measures in Australia.” The law will have to be approved by the state Parliament but it can also be modified beforehand as the government plans to start consultations with industry representatives.
One of the main changes will be that operators will have to introduce mandatory pre-commitment limits, which mean that players will have to enter how much money they are prepared to lose before actually starting to play.
Carded play will also become mandatory, which means that a player’s identity will be automatically linked to his or her gambling activities. The new law will also cap the amount of money that can be put into an electronic gaming machine at one time. The new load-up limit has been set at 100 Australian dollars, drastically reduced from the current limit of 1,000 Australian dollars.
The government said it will keep an eye on trials of similar restrictions in other jurisdictions, such as New South Wales, along with the experience of Crown Melbourne, which has already been ordered to require mandatory pre-commitment and carded play from the end of 2023.