Casino Canberra has recently been given permission to install the first-ever non-club pokies in the ACT. The decision has been met with plenty of resistance from the clubs industry, and now political parties are getting involved as The Greens demand that limits are placed on the amount of money that players can spend on gaming machines.
The Greens have proposed that $1 betting limits are placed on poker machines in the newly renovated Casino Canberra. This would prevent players from spending more than that amount of money per spin, and it would save players significantly on potential losses per hour while aiming to reduce problem gambling rates.
“Things like $1 bets are key recommendations from the productivity commission to make sure that there are strong boundaries around the potential for gambling harm,” says Shane Rattenbury, spokesperson for The Greens.
Local government officials have responded to the demands, and are considering placing betting limits on the new games. Gaming Minister Mick Gentleman has replied:
“We have always been clear that the casino will not be allowed any poker machines unless it implements harm minimisation measures over and above those found in community clubs”.
While few studies have taken a look at the effect of betting limits on problem gambling rates, it is still important have harm minimisation measures in place to keep players safe. So, while the ACT government may not enact strict betting limits, it is still likely that that officials will push to have some sort of safeguards in place in order to ensure that pokie players at Casino Canberra do not spend beyond their means.
As this story develops, we will keep you posted and let you know whether $1 betting limits will be introduced on poker machines at Casino Canberra.