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Greens look to reduce number of poker machines in Canberra

Mon, Oct 10, 12:18pm by Staff Writer

Under a proposal released by the ACT Greens, the number of poker machines in the ACT would be reduced by a third and betting limits of $1 would be enforced.

The policy comes less than a week before the ACT election and would also see all gamblers make a precommitment, before they started playing, how much they were willing to lose.

Greens leader Shane Rattenbury said “these measures are about saying we recognise that problem gambling has a serious impact on our community, we need to take serious steps to address it,”

Mr Rattenbury said the Greens would also push to make it easier for community clubs to lessen their reliance on poker machines.

“[Betting limits and precommitments] have been identified by the productivity commission as the most effective way of addressing the harms of problem gambling.

“They do ensure that people, basically before they start betting, know that there’s a limit on what they can lose.”

“For too long, we’ve had too many poker machines in this town, and they do have a terrible impact in our community,” he said.

Mr Rattenbury also said that the Greens have developed a suite of measures to support clubs to end their reliance on pokies and say they’ll be prepared to work with anybody in the assembly who is elected to get some of these measures put in place.

The Greens say the policies will make people think twice before they gamble.

This news comes just two weeks after ‘ClubsACT’ ramped up its campaign against ACT Labor when hundreds of people protested at the Raiders Club in Belconnen against a proposal to allow poker machines in the Canberra Casino.

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