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Victoria Not Going Quietly Towards Gambling Limits In Australia

It is no secret in Australia that casino gambling is a major revenue generator for different regions. The federal government also makes good money from the casinos, but they are concerned about the growing problem gambling numbers in the country.

That is why lawmakers this year have attempted to come up with ways to combat problem gambling. One of the proposed solutions comes from Independent MP Andrew Wilkie, who has pushed for betting limits on slot machines in Australia.

The government has gone along with Wilkie's proposal, but it now appears that individual jurisdictions may not. Victoria has come up with their own ideas to slow gambling addiction, and they include betting limits. The difference is that Victorian lawmakers want the technology to be available, but voluntary, as opposed to the mandatory limits the federal government would like to set.

Player freedom is the issue separating the two governments. The federal government wants to take the player's right to make their own decisions out of play, while the Victorian government believes the player should choose to set the limits, not legislators.

"We believe that pre-commitment technology should be available on every gaming machine in Victoria," said Consumer Affairs Minister Michael O'Brien. "But the choice to use that technology must be with the player."

Senator Nick Xenophon started pushing for gambling regulations last year, and towards the end of the year he struck a deal with the incoming government to pursue betting limits and other safeguards for problem gamblers. The government has discussed the issue at length, and has decided the limits are a good idea and should be implemented.

If the federal government moves forward with their legislation, O'Brien suggested that Victoria may take the issue to the high court. Any court case over betting limits would be the first of its kind in Australia.

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