Live gambling in Tasmania will become more restrictive if the Tasmanian government gets its way. According to various reports, the Tasmanian government is looking to impose a new “gambling minimisation” plan that will impose strict gambling restrictions on players.
The most restrictive of these limits will be on pokies. Players will be limited to gambling AU$5,000 a year on pokies machines. Some lawmakers say that this new policy directly attacks hotels and pubs.
Tasmanian Government to Implement Gambling Minimisation Plan
Live gambling has been in the news a lot in the last year. The problems surrounding Crown Resorts and Star Entertainment group have lawmakers looking for ways to further regulate live gambling. The Tasmanian government has announced a new gambling minimisation program to help curb problem gambling in the region.
The program looks to impose loss limits on players in the region. Under the program, the country will go to a cashless gaming card system. Tasmania would become the first Australian state to take such a step.
Tasmania pokies laws: Government introduces new reforms https://t.co/3F59iVOwyr via @themercurycomau
— Troy Stolz (@TroyStolz) September 17, 2022
Under the system, players will have daily, monthly, and annual spending limits on pokies. Players will be limited to AU$100 each day, AU$500 monthly, and AU$5,000 annually. Limits can be lowered by players at any time. They can also be increased, but only under certain parameters not stated in the reports.
According to Michael Ferguson, Tasmania’s Deputy Premier, “The impacts from gambling harm are felt across our communities, beyond the immediate impact on an individual and their family. This system will protect people from losing more than they can afford.”
The government plans to have the system in place by December 2024.
Opposition Voices Opinion on Measure
Not everyone is happy with the new plan from the Tasmanian government. The Tasmanian Hospitality Association quickly spoke out on the plan. The group called the new plan as traitorous.
According to reports, the group is claiming that the government has sought to ban gambling machines since 2018. It is now claiming that the government is lying to the people.
Steve Old, THA’s Chief Executive, states that “On any objective measure, today’s backflip is a slap in the face to hotel and pub customers and hardworking small and family businesses in Tasmania.”
Are Loss Limits Even Necessary?
While we understand the thinking of Tasmanian officials, there are some that think that such a plan is unnecessary. For example, ABC News is reporting on a study that shows a loss limit may not be a necessity. According to the study, the average Tasmanian citizen spends around AU$3,600 each year on pokies. This is well below the AU$5,000 in the plan.
No surprise that a venue operator is against the new pokies policy in Tasmania
Do people who like pokies for 'gambling entertainment' spend over $5k per annum?
Studies have shown that it is >1% that are impacted by gambling harm.#auspol #gamblinghttps://t.co/C7bY4DRxSg
— DROP_THE_SLOT (@slot_drop) September 17, 2022
However, the report did claim that the average daily loss per player is closer to AU$200 rather than AU$100. It is unclear whether the higher daily losses are due to the stakes played by gamblers or if there are other factors.
Some players may only gamble recreationally and may spend a bit more when they do play. For example, someone that gambles one day a month may spend more during that one session than someone that goes to a casino once a week.
Loss Limits May Prove Beneficial
Looking at the overall plan, there are aspects we think are beneficial to players. First, we like the idea of instituting a loss limit for pokies. A loss limit helps players to establish a budget for gambling and stick to that budget.
We have always advocated for players instituting a stop loss when gambling at online casinos. This prevents you from draining your bankroll too quickly. For live players, a stop loss will keep you from spending too much money playing online casino games. It will indeed also help to prevent problem gambling as it prohibits you from overspending.
In the end, the average gambler we do not see this impacting many gamblers. The daily loss limit may be a bit low for some players, but for the average player, it is just a nice extra safeguard to ensure you don’t spend too much on gambling.
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