Published On: Tue, Mar 6th, 2018

New South Wales to Have Fewer Pokies Due to Problem Gambling

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The Berejiklian Government is going to come down more heavily on problem gamblers and have identified areas and spots that are hotbeds for illegal gambling. The government has announced that it will not be giving out any more licenses for poker machines in order to curb the problem of illegal gambling. The government has identified vast areas where their decisions are going to be implemented, including areas such as Granville, Fairfield, Auburn and so on.


However, fines for entities that offer illegal online gambling has always been there and has seldom been able to stop such activities from happening anyway. This time, however, the government has decided to increase the fines for such businesses many times over. As a result, the government hopes that businesses that consider fines to simply be minor inconveniences will be heavily penalized and discouraged from going on with their illegal activities. The fines are proposed to rise from $5,000 to a whopping $55,000!


Things such as money-back guarantees in case of losing that were being promoted by online bookmakers have been outlawed since last year, thanks to a joint effort by territory, state as well as the federal government.


Paul Toole, NSW Racing and Gaming minister, said that the need for greater regulation of the number of ‘pokies’, as slot machines are called in Australia, is all the more greater today because issues such as unemployment and other socio-economic factors are looking more and more bleak. He said that areas that have been identified as problem gambling areas will no more be allowed to have any more pokies. When asked whether or not it was unfair to bring such regulations to only the suburbs, he argued that before new pokies are allowed in an area, a weighting system is used to determine whether or not they should grant permission, adding that as per the current findings of their weighing systems, “It looks at the income of those communities, it looks at unemployment — these are the factors that we need to consider when any application is being put forward for additional gaming machines in an area”.


Deputy Director of the Gambling Treatment and Research Clinic of the University of Sydney, Dr Sally Gainsbury, points out that although most gamblers insist that they are not negatively affected by gambling, the truth is that they actually are, adding that those who “take up free bet offers are those least likely to be able to afford it”.

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