The Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission has gone forth with the plan of minimising problem gambling by imposing a mandatory betting limit on pokies.
All pokie machine membership programs, including possible benefits, will comply with this regulation.
Two Tasmanian casinos will offer the premium player loyalty program in their own special rooms and require players to set a betting limit.
The betting limit is not permanent, but players will have to set a limit for the amount of money they’re prepared to lose over 12 months.
Naturally, the casino will need to access the betting limit according to the player’s previous history. The limit needs to be financially sustainable as well.
The Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission (TLGC) issued a statement saying that if a player reaches the predetermined limit before the 12-month period expires, their access to the program is denied, including any benefits that come with the membership.
ABC News (Australia)
Although problem gambling is a massive issue in Australia, some may say that this TLGC initiative seems like taking baby steps to prevent problem gambling. Nevertheless, this obligatory betting limit is the first of its kind in AU.
Meg Webb, an independent member for Nelson, said that since the scheme is limited to land-based casinos, it will not help many pokie players in Tasmania. She added that the obligatory betting limit would have minimal impact on pokie players, adding that this is indeed a positive step in the right direction but not enough. This is because pokie machines are available in select casinos and pubs, bars, and other establishments.
Webb continued by saying that greater and easier programming changes could make a more significant difference in problem gambling in Tasmania, adding that this scheme doesn’t stack up. Plus, the plan would not be relevant for the majority of losses that occurred after COVID19. The losses build up to $191 million, which is the highest in the last five years.
On the other hand, TLGC chair Jenny Cranston claimed that the scheme would benefit players suffering from gambling addictions, creating the strongest harm minimisation environment in Australia. She said that the program was designed to give people information that would enable them to make informed decisions about the money they’re willing to lose, thus preventing them from chasing their losses.
She added that the scheme includes providing people with data on losses to inform them about losing and create realistic gambling limits. She said that this scheme stands out because players get to set their own limits rationally and consciously.