The area of Maroondah, Australia will experience a strict limit of the number of poker machines in operation and the State Government has also established a limit of A$500 on cash withdrawals made by a single patron over the span of 24 hours. These new regulations are part of the broader reforms which are going on in the gambling field and they are going to affect the 759 poker machines which are currently operating in the area.
The indefinite cap on the number of pokies is being introduced as a problem gambling battling measure and in order to reduce the growing number of people who experience gambling addiction in the Australian state. Another thing which is also going to be implemented as a change is the maximum number of pokies in a single gambling venue. As of now, the number of poker machines in operation should not surpass the 105 limit and this measure is going to last for the next 25 years. This is one of the 17 Victorian councils which are going to be affected by the new rules of the government.
The Gaming Minister Marlene Kairouz stated that these measures are expected to improve the state of the problem gambling rates in the area. As it was recently confirmed, more than A$65 million has been lost in gambling venues over the span of last financial year and this marks an increase in the overall rate in comparison with previous years. After some calculation, it was established that this equates to about A$178,000 spent on gambling per day. This rate of gambling places the Maroondah state at the 16th position among the 70 municipalities when it comes to poker machine losses.
Battle Against Problem Gambling
In response to the changes, the Alliance for Gambling Reform stated that the measures have to go even further than this and there are certain propositions it has. The maximum bets which could be done on the poker machines are currently A$5 and the have to be reduced to A$1. Furthermore, the working hours of gambling venues should also be changed, as to reduce the time people spend in them playing. The Alliance also suggests that the maximum allowed sum of money which could be withdrawn at an EFTPOS should be cut down to A$200.
As it was reminded by Tim Costello, Director of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, some 27,500 poker machines are expected to have their entitlements expiring in 2022. This makes it a good time to act on the surging problem gambling issue in the area. The opposition of the proposal, in the face of Neill Murray, Chief Operating Officer of Community Clubs Victoria, stated that this measure is rather aggressive and a more effective way to battle addiction will be a personal approach to every application for gaming.