The gambling landscape in Victoria, Australia, is about to witness a major shake-up! Premier Dan Andrews is gearing up to introduce some of the “strongest gambling harm prevention and anti-money laundering measures in Australia.” But, here’s the twist – the reforms are excluding Crown Resorts’ Crown Melbourne from the mix.
What’s in store?
Get ready for some serious changes in how people interact with slot machines, fondly known as “pokies” in Australia. One major move is slashing the daily betting limit from AU$1,000 to just $100 (US$1,467 to $146). It’s a big drop, but with a purpose – to protect players from excessive losses.
Moreover, gamblers will need to set pre-commitment limits before starting their slot sessions. This means deciding on a daily, weekly, or monthly spending cap in advance. And that’s not all; to add an extra layer of accountability, players will have to flash their IDs before engaging with those beloved pokies.
Gaming venues will have to turn off their machines daily from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. The goal? To prevent folks from hopping from one venue to another for an uninterrupted gambling spree. Additionally, the pokies will start spinning a tad slower, with the reels coming to a stop after three seconds instead of two.
Now, you might be wondering why Crown Resorts’ Crown Melbourne gets a pass. Well, it’s not all smooth sailing for them. The casino operator is under heavy scrutiny due to its alleged connections with money laundering and criminal activities. As a result, the government has appointed a “supervisor” to keep a watchful eye on their operations.
But after so many controversies surrounding the Crown emporium, Australia can’t just throw them off the bus. As one of the key players of the economy, they must keep finding a middle way for them to reconcile. Still, all Crown businesses in the country will be subjected to more scrutiny in the coming years.
Premier Andrews, alongside Minister Melissa Horne, broke the news, but they couldn’t confirm the exact timeline for implementing these changes. The government plans to hold thorough consultations with industry players before diving into action. But be sure, the wheels of reform are already turning!
These reforms are sparking quite the controversy. Gambling expert Charles Livingston supports the changes but believes that the government shouldn’t consult with the industry before implementing them. Meanwhile, industry players are expressing their concerns. Endeavor Group, a major pub owner, witnessed a sharp drop in its stock value, and small, not-for-profit clubs like Lara Sporting Club fear significant repercussions due to their reliance on pokies to attract consumers.
Ripple effects beyond Victoria
The impact of these reforms won’t be confined to Victoria’s gambling market alone. New South Wales, which has also toyed with the idea of reforms and cashless gaming, may feel the pressure to pick up the pace.
Hold tight, folks, because the winds of change are blowing through Australia’s gambling landscape, and things are about to get interesting!
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