For the past month, South Australia politicians have worked hard to establish new rules for poker machines and pokie venues. This week, they have finally agreed on new terms that all gaming clubs must agree to.
Originally, the plan was to categories pokie venues into two different categories. Minor clubs would be allowed a maximum of 20 pokies and they would not be allowed to derive the majority of their profits from the games. Major clubs could have up to 60 pokies, and they would have to impose several harm minimisation strategies such as pre-commitment.
However, the agreed-upon terms are a far cry from the original proposal. There will be no re-categorization of clubs; instead, there will be a cap on all venues of 40 pokies. Politicians have also decided not to impose pre-commitment; instead, they have chosen to reduce the betting limit from $10 to $5.
The reform will also ban the use of headphones with poker machines. This type of ban was first introduced by Victorian politicians, and it has resulted in a decline of gambling spending. Players at clubs will also face ATM limits, so that they cannot withdraw more than $200 per night.