Australia politicians propose ‘middle ground’ A$2 maximum bet stake for pokies

  • The maximum right now is A$10, with the government proposing A$5 and the Greens suggesting A$2
  • Research suggests that it’s the optimum amount, but manufacturers say it might not be possible to implement

In Australia, several members of the ACT Greens Party have taken another step towards imposing a A$2 maximum bet per spin for pokies operating out of Canberra Casino.

australian pokies
Pokies limits could be introduced

This discussion has come out of the country’s ongoing casino legislation debates of late, about which talks are scheduled to continue for some weeks.

Right now, however, financial issues are preventing a decision being reached between the government and ACT Greens members.

At the start of 2017, it was decided that the Australia’s Cabinet would be unable to decide on legislation that would appeal to and appease all of the country’s parties.

This has left several issues – including the maximum bet limit one up in the air after being postponed.

An example of the rift between the government and the ACT Greens is that, during some of the previous talks on this subject, the Greens proposed a maximum bet limit of A$1 but the government came no lower than A$5.

Now, taking the high road, Shane Rattenbury – leader of the ACT Greens – has proposed a figure of A$2. His latest proposal has research carried out by the Productivity Commission behind it; it was recently found that A$2 would be enough to “significantly” reduce the negative impacts of gambling on more susceptible people.

On the casino floor

As if governmental opposition was not enough to deter the ACT Greens in their bet limit mission, a number of gaming machine manufacturers got in touch to warn them that there aren’t many slots in use around the country that would allow such a small maximum bet. At present, the maximum is A$10.

This has thrown a considerable spanner in the works for the ACT Greens, given that they are tantalizingly close to winning over the wider Australia government. Even the research can’t argue with the word of the manufacturers at this point.

Earlier this year, Rattenbury opposed the suggestion of the Labor speaker on a maximum bet limit of A$5. In his response, Rattenbury and his Greens party chose to introduce amendments to the government’s existing bill.

Right now, the government have permitted each land-based casino to house a maximum of 200 machines, as well as 60 other, similar games.

Until a decision is reached, the opposition gaming spokesman Park Parton has suggested that the Canberra Liberal party stands behind the belief that pokies should exclusively be operated in clubs and hotels. This, he says, is where they are safest, and where they can protect the player and wider community.

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