Casinos In Australia Calling Out Lawmakers Over Gambling Limits
The battle has been ongoing for well over a year, and now the debate over whether to limit the amount of cash Australians can lose in one sitting at a casino is going public again. Club owners are putting together a campaign that will ask legislators to turn away any restrictive new laws.
The clubs campaign will be centered on putting large posters of lawmakers around the country in the most populated establishments. The posters would have a rallying cry, asking the lawmakers to take a stand and listen to their constituents. Many residents are opposed to having their rights compromised.
The clubs have several reasons why they are against legislation to monitor gamblers' wagering habits. First and foremost is the estimated $40 million that the clubs will have to lay out in order to install the tracking devices that will monitor the betting.
The other reason that is obvious is the loss of revenue that will occur if the gamblers are restricted in the amount of cash they can lose at the machines. Currently, gamblers are free to lose whatever amount they feel comfortable with, but lawmakers are pushing for reform after learning of the increase in problem gambling cases.
Tasmanian Independent Andrew Wilkie is leading the charge for gambling reform. Wilkie has made many enemies along the way in his attempt at reform, but he also has allies that are working with him to get the gambling reform bill passed. The most assertive of Wilkie's allies is Senator Nick Xenophon, who has been lobbying for gambling reform for several years.
Lawmakers have been split on the issue, and several have indicated that they would be open to a bill that created a voluntary pre-commitment program. Wilkie has been pushing for a mandatory commitment, but the casinos have held their ground and said they too would support legislation if it was voluntary.
The pre-commitment machines would make gamblers lock in a betting limit at the beginning of each session on a slot machine. The technology would then cut off the gambler when that limit was reached. Australia is one of several countries that is dealing with the potential problems of expanded gambling. The additional gambling has been authorized in many cases to help with an ailing economy.
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