The ACT Government has taken its first steps to cut the number of gaming machines in Canberra by hiring an independent expert to advise clubs on how to reduce their reliance on gaming machine revenue.
The former Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Communication, Neville Stevens, will undertake a Club Industry Diversification Support Analysis, with a report to be provided by 31 May for consideration.
Mr Stevens will be consulting with clubs, club peak bodies and club workers (through their unions), to look at ways to assist the industry to diversify club revenue streams.
Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said the Government was committed to reducing the maximum number of gaming machines that can be operated in the Territory, from around 5,000, to 4,000 by 2020.
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“We recognise that a diverse, sustainable clubs sector offers benefits for this community and we want to preserve and strengthen those benefits as part of this commitment,” Mr Ramsay said.
“I am therefore seeking expert analysis on both financial and non-financial measures that will support clubs in diversifying their income streams and reducing their reliance on gaming machine revenue.
“The ACT Government’s vision is for a strong, sustainable, diverse and community-focused club sector. The Government views clubs as our partners in implementing new and more robust gambling harm reduction measures for our city.”
Canberra Community Clubs Chair, Athol Chalmers, outlined the importance of this initiative for the Club industry and was delighted with the Government’s vision.
“Canberra Community Clubs is delighted that the ACT Government has made it very clear in their announcement today that they want to see a strong, diverse and community focussed Club sector in Canberra.”
“Canberra Community Clubs warmly welcomes this vision.”
Mr Chalmers believes the vision provides the foundation for genuine and constructive engagement and collaboration between all industry stakeholders to ensure this vision is achieved.
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