Victoria poker machine freeze a welcome step towards a more responsible gaming industry
7 July 2017
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers has today welcomed an announcement from the Andrews Government that will see a 25-year freeze on the number of poker machines in Victoria, with the measure an important step towards delivering a more responsible gaming industry for the community.
Maurice Blackburn is currently leading a landmark social justice pro-bono case that is set to highlight the deceptive and misleading behaviour of poker machine manufacturers and venues.
The case is the first of its kind to focus on the design of poker machines contributing to players being deliberately deceived on their prospects of winning, and if successful, the litigation could have ramifications for the design of all poker machines in the industry.
Maurice Blackburn Senior Associate Jennifer Kanis said today’s announcement by the Andrews Government to implement a freeze on the number of poker machines was significant, and called for other states and venues to follow Victoria’s lead in seeking a more responsible approach to the gaming industry.
“For too long the balance has been tipped in favour of the growth of the poker machine industry, and governments and venues alike have been reluctant to take serious action to ensure a sensible and responsible balance is struck, particularly in vulnerable communities,” Ms Kanis said.
“Implementing a freeze on poker machines will impact on tax revenue, and it is significant to see that the Andrews Government is prepared to forgo this in order to ensure a more level playing field on poker machines in Victoria.
“A freeze over 25 years will see a major reduction in the number of poker machines available per capita in Victoria for the longer term, and we also welcome restrictions set to be implemented to limit the maximum number of machines available in a single gaming venue.
“We would now urge other states and venues to take a similar approach in looking at a freeze on poker machine numbers – such measures are crucial in striking the right balance towards achieving a more responsible gambling approach across all Australian communities,” she said.