New legislation introduced to the Legislative Assembly today will significantly cut red tape for community clubs, Minister for Racing and Gaming Joy Burch said.
The Gaming Machine (Red Tape Reduction) Amendment Bill 2014 implements the first tranche of the Gaming Machine Reform Package announced earlier this month. The package will lead to the biggest reduction in gaming machine licences in the ACT since self-government.
“Our clubs play an important role in our community and share the Government’s commitment to minimising harm from problem gambling,” Ms Burch said.
“These important reforms will reduce unnecessary red tape and regulatory burdens on licensed gaming machine operators, while maintaining protections for vulnerable gamblers.
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“Some of these rules are simply technologically outdated – for example, the requirement for an approved person to sign a machine access register every time a machine is opened. Clubs will also be able to move machines from one part of an approved gaming area to another without having to first seek approval from the Gambling and Racing Commission.
“Small clubs whose contribution to the Problem Gambling Assistance Fund is less than $100 a month will now be able to pay annually and in arrears, instead of monthly and in advance.
“The measures will help clubs focus their business in a very challenging climate while ensuring that the ACT retains a robust regulatory and harm minimisation framework for gaming machines. They will also save ratepayers money by reducing the administrative overhead for the Commission, but will not restrict the Commission’s ability to regulate as it sees fit.”
Legislation introducing a trading scheme for licences and cutting the number of gaming machines through a cap of 15 machines per 1,000 adults will be introduced early next year.
(Joy Burch Media Release)