Australia is known to be quite strict with its gambling laws, including a potential full ban on all gambling advertising. We here at NZCasinoClub.com always make sure you're up to date on the latest New Zealand and Australian gambling related news in our news blog.
In an ambitious move that has resonated across Australia and the international gaming sector, the state of Victoria in Australia is introducing a series of comprehensive gambling reforms. These reforms are targeted at mitigating the harms associated with electronic gaming machines, colloquially known as "pokies".
Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews and the Minister for Casino, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Melissa Horne, publicly announced these measures on 16 July.
Designed to enforce stricter control on pokies and enhance the state's anti-money laundering procedures, these reforms will mark a significant shift in the Australian gambling landscape. The new regulations are expected to establish the "strongest gambling harm preventions and anti-money laundering measures in Australia".
The exclusion of Crown Melbourne, Crown Resorts' establishment, from these reforms is noteworthy and has raised questions in some quarters.
The announced gambling reforms are sweeping and are designed to fundamentally alter the way consumers interact with pokies. They aim to control the amount that players can bet, increase transparency and traceability, and reduce the potential for extended, uninterrupted play sessions that can lead to significant losses.
These changes include:
Despite the extensive reach of these reforms, they do not extend to the Crown Melbourne, Crown Resorts' establishment. This exclusion has been made even as Crown Resorts finds itself under severe scrutiny due to its association with criminal elements. In light of these allegations, a dedicated "supervisor" has been appointed to oversee the activities of Crown Resorts in the state.
The proposed changes have not been welcomed unanimously within the hospitality and gaming sector. Many industry players have expressed their concern and frustration at the reforms, warning of potential damage to the sector.
One of the major corporations affected is the Endeavour Group, one of Australia's owners of pubs. The company's stock plummeted as a result of the announcement, dropping from AU$6.26 to AU$5.53 on the following Monday, marking the most significant single-day drop that year.
In response to these changes, Endeavour's management has urged for greater collaboration and coordination among state and territory governments when formulating policies to combat problem gambling.
Endeavour has already pledged to swiftly implement the proposed reforms in Victoria, announcing that it will adjust the operating hours of its ALH Hotels in Victoria and introduce the $100 load-up limit as soon as practicable.
The impact of the gambling reforms introduced in Victoria is expected to reverberate across the Australian gaming industry. Other states, particularly New South Wales, which has been discussing similar reforms and the transition to cashless gaming, will likely feel the ripples of these changes.
Observers predict that the measures introduced in Victoria will likely accelerate the state's own gambling transformation efforts. A spokesperson for New South Wales Gaming and Racing Minister David Harris confirmed that the state would be closely monitoring the developments in Victoria and use their learnings to inform their own reforms on gambling.
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