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The problem with poker

By moneypenny2612 20 October 2009 31

Last week, while the Crimes was distracted with the proposal to ban outdoor smoking at eateries, the ACT Government introduced the Unlawful Gambling Bill in to the Assembly.

The bill aims to consolidate and update the Territory’s gambling laws. So, now you know where to go to confirm whether championship Scrabble is unlawful. Seriously.

The bill proposes to continue the ACT’s hardline approach to the regulation prohibition of poker tournaments in clubs and pubs. Special exemptions apply if you are the Canberra Casino. Or hosting a no-stakes poker party in your own home (true!).

The Treasurer, Katy Gallagher, was quoted saying, “A key consideration has been that introducing these [poker] tournaments into the ACT – even the lower risk, no fee no prize tournaments – has the potential to increase the level of problem gambling in the community either directly or indirectly.”

A recent Gambling Commission policy review paper is cited in support of the ongoing ban on poker games.  The report is wordy but kinda slight. It’s empirical evidence for the poker tournament ban seems to be sourced from the Sydney Morning Herald. And not much else besides.

I’d always understood the hard-line regulation of poker machines as being linked to the highly repetitive nature of contemporary (automated & multi-line) one armed banditry. Unlike the card game. Indeed, the Victorian Premier noted the distinction recently when defending the Victorian Government’s decision to permit Crown Casino to add more gaming tables.

So, what is unique about the way poker is played in the ACT?

Do Canberrans have more impulsive, gullible, or addictive temperaments than other Australians?

Or are we just governed by wowsers and killjoys?

(Disclosure: I do not know how to play poker. My gambling is limited to unskilled wagering on the Melbourne Cup. I want to win the trifecta. I can pursue that pipe dream to my heart’s content, with minimal government intervention. Lucky me.)


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The problem with poker
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djk 10:16 am 22 Oct 09

p1 said :

If I online gamble from home in the ACT using a interstate bookie, am I gambling in the ACT?

No, that is the other state’s problem. This is specifically covered in the explanatory statement for the bill, although it mentions betting rather than gambling.

moneypenny2612 said :

The feds give in to the racing industry, the casino industry, the TV industry, the phone industry, and everything in between. I don’t know if anyone has ever been prosecuted for running or advertising a prohibited interactive gambling service (Betfair advertises on TV?). If somebody has been pinged by the feds, they must be really unlucky (or unskilled?).

Moneypenny, I believe Betfair is licenced in Tasmania or something for sports betting, and Aussies are not allowed to play on their poker site, which would be how they get around being prosecuted.

moneypenny2612 8:21 pm 21 Oct 09

@#23 & @#24

Online gambling is regulated by the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (Cth).

With all its exemptions, I think it is probably the most useless piece of legislation on the Commonwealth statute books. Check it out.

The feds give in to the racing industry, the casino industry, the TV industry, the phone industry, and everything in between. I don’t know if anyone has ever been prosecuted for running or advertising a prohibited interactive gambling service (Betfair advertises on TV?). If somebody has been pinged by the feds, they must be really unlucky (or unskilled?).

heinous 6:20 pm 21 Oct 09

So why are some games that combine both skill & luck (eg Bridge, Scrabble) exempt, and not a game like Poker?

Because in the eyes of the Assembly, Bridge and Scrabble attract refined people where Poker attracts a scumbag class of people who need to be socially controlled by the elite.

papadoc 6:18 pm 21 Oct 09

Don’t even get me started on this rag the Government have put together. If poker attracts people to clubs to gamble, why not outlaw beer or snooker? the Casino is starting to do a much better job, but only if you’re prepared to outlay a minimum of $110 per tournament. Pub Poker games are usually $10-$20 at worst.

Absolute joke.

Hells_Bells74 5:21 pm 21 Oct 09

If Blackjack, Roulette & poker etc are unlawful, then just how does a casino get the legal green light? How is it different, you don’t get to gamble responsively in a casino, what’s their caper?

frontrow 4:39 pm 21 Oct 09

djk,

I think you will find the answer to your question @23 can be found within ck’s post @6. We’re not that egalitarian around here.

caf 3:33 pm 21 Oct 09

So why are some games that combine both skill & luck (eg Bridge, Scrabble) exempt, and not a game like Poker?

Pure handwaving and woolly thinking, fuelled by unfair prejudice, and nothing more.

p1 2:42 pm 21 Oct 09

Also I skimmed but couldnt see anything, was there a mention of online gambling?

If I online gamble from home in the ACT using a interstate bookie, am I gambling in the ACT?

djk 1:37 pm 21 Oct 09

So why are some games that combine both skill & luck (eg Bridge, Scrabble) exempt, and not a game like Poker?

Also I skimmed but couldnt see anything, was there a mention of online gambling?

S4anta 12:47 pm 21 Oct 09

cranky said :

Guess thats the end of horse racing.

Seems total overkill when the objective seems to be to drive all the problem gamblers into the clubs and their pokies.

Oh, does the Labor Party own clubs? With pokies? Might explain a lot.

Never seen a horse race in a pub. Sounds bloody brilliant however.

anatoli 9:36 am 21 Oct 09

Both the Unlawful Games Act 1984 and the Unlawful Games Regulation 2007 are repealed by the Unlawful Gambling Bill 2009 (section 51).

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