Pokie Bet Limits Denied

‘Australian Parties Denounce Pokie Bet Limits & Reduced Spin Rates! See how Aussie primary blames online casinos and not land-based pokies!’ (Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash)

In the latest Aussie casino news, slot players will be pleased to hear that 2 government parties will not back the proposed limitations for slot and poker machines in land-based gambling establishments!

There are several points that this new limit would affect, which includes reducing the number of spins per hour a slot can produce while also setting a maximum bet limit in an attempt to protect players from gambling-related financial issues. However, the legislation put forward in Q1 2021 looks like it is already on its way out the door after both the Liberal and the Labor parties are not prepared to give the proposal their blessing.

Although both parties are in support of reform across the Australian gambling industry, it seems that slowing down ‘pokies’ a.k.a. slot machines as well as imposing bet limits is not part of that reform. One of the reasons the legislation was brought forward is because in particular residents in Tasmania are reported to have lost over AUD 180 million as a direct result of playing pokies. Another surprising stat to arise is that more than three-quarters of those living in Tasmania actively sought out help from one of the many Australian problem gambling services available.

Currently, Australia has legal frameworks to allow online sports betting, but online casinos are not permitted to operate! The AUD 180 million loss is mostly from land-based establishments or overseas online casinos offering services to Australian citizens, which the government frowns upon and has fought back by banning the IP addresses and domains of some of these casinos specifically aimed at Aussie citizens!

Gaming lounges in Australia that offer pokie machines are already highly regulated. Each establishment must have trade personnel onsite and will stop those deemed to gamble too much. In fact, the Australian premier blamed the pokie losses not on land-based establishments but on the overseas online casinos that do not limit players from betting above their means!

Should Australia Simply Introduce an Online Casino Framework?

It seems that the Australian government is fighting a losing battle by not legalising online casinos in the country. The only deterrent the government really has is to ban IPs, as it cannot press criminal charges on citizens playing online, let alone have the resources to monitor such a law. And what seems abundantly obvious is that no matter how many online casino IP addresses the government bans, it is impossible to ban them all.

In fact, there are more than 500 online casinos that accept Australian citizens, and only a very small sample of these sites were mentioned in last month’s list of banned casinos. It seems that the more the government pushes legalising online casinos away, the bigger the problem grows.

If a legal framework was put in place in Australia, such as the one used by the UKGC, the government could then encourage those that want to gamble on pokies to sign up to Australian licensed casinos. And by using the British system, the casinos would be forced by law to actively identify problem gamblers and offer them the help they need before contributing to what has become a AUD 180 million loss for residents of Tasmania.

Australia already has a system in place within its pokie gambling lounges and casino that spots problem gamblers. All that many are suggesting is that the government takes the same approach with online casinos as the current total ban is clearly not working!



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