Vic review to strengthen pokies protections welcome

1 December 2016
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers has welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement to review protection measures for the state’s poker machines to help reduce the devastating impact of problem gambling.

The firm has recently filed a landmark pro-bono legal case in the Federal Court that is seeking to highlight the deceptive and misleading behaviour of poker machine manufacturers, designers and venues.

Maurice Blackburn Principal Jacob Varghese said the Andrews Labor Government’s decision to review poker machine protection measures was an important step towards further clean-up the industry.

“The Victorian Government is to be commended for having a serious look at poker machine protections to see what improvements can be made to reduce the impacts of problem gambling,” Mr Varghese said.

“For too long, the industry has had free rein in the development and use of poker machines, despite the well-established harmful effects of this for many Australians.

“In particular we welcome the inclusion of codes of conduct, as well as consultation on limits of machine numbers and responsible service of gaming training.

“We would also urge the government as part of this review to look closely at the design of poker machines, including design features that encourage gambling addiction,” he said.

“All states should be encouraged to undertake similar reviews; these efforts can play a collective role in helping to drive a better standard for the industry that protects Australians from the harmful effects of problem gambling.”

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