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Victoria Government Launches Electronic Gaming Machines Reforms

Posted on July 26, 2023 | 6:35 am

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.

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Curfew Not Up To Debate

Some of the proposed measures will not be put out to consultation, and one of them is the mandatory curfew between 4 am and 10 am. All electronic gaming machines in a venue have to be closed during the respective period and the measure will enter into force from the middle of 2024. However, it will not apply to casinos.

The government explained that the respective measure is supposed to address allegations implying that some venues are implementing staggered opening hours in order to allow players to move between locations to keep gambling.

Another measure that will come into play is the slowing down of the pace of the electronic gaming machines, all of them will have a mandatory spin rate of three seconds per game. These reforms were introduced following the findings of the Royal Commission which investigated the activities of Crown Melbourne. The casino was found unsuitable to hold a license in the state in April 2022, but it was allowed to continue operating under supervision for a two-year trial period.


“Victoria introduces sweeping new pokie reforms“,, July 19, 2023.

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