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Australia Moves Closer To Casino Gambling Reform

Australian gamblers are under siege from the government, and it appears lawmakers will not stop until they have complete control over what the gamblers can bet. The latest proposal on the table is one that could forever alter the gaming industry in Australia.

The entire year, Australian Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has been working hard to get pre-commitment plans passed. The pre-commitment program would call for gamblers to set betting and time limits when sitting down to play slot machines. It is a plan that casinos in Australia are strongly against.

Wilkie is drafting legislation that would allow casinos two options to deal with gambling limits. The first would call for settings on the slots to be altered to only allow bets of $1, and jackpots no larger than $500. This would be an option that did not include pre-commitment sign-ups.

The second option would be to allow gamblers to set their betting limits before they begin playing. Wilkie and other lawmakers believe this is necessary because gambling addiction has been growing in the country. The pre-commitment program would ensure that gamblers do not lose, and then continue to chase their money.

"We are talking about millions of Australians who are in some way touched by poker machine problem gambling," said Wilkie. "Problems that routinely result in bankruptcy, the loss of the home, domestic violence, mental illness, suicide, and even murder."

Those opposed to the new restrictions have asserted that the new regulations are simply a way for anti-gambling lawmakers to control the industry. Casinos have continuously claimed that it is anti-gambling legislators driving these regulations, and that the restrictions will hurt not only the casinos' revenue, but also tax revenue generated for Australia.

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