Gambling limits will be imposed on slot machines in the Australia’s Tasmania by 2024, says the state government.
A limit of A$5,000 (€3,300) per year will be imposed on players unless they apply to increase their limit, reports ABC News Australia.
A new cashless card will be used and made mandatory, says the state government. The plan has been enthusiastically received by anti-gambling campaigner Charles Livingstone, professor at Monash University, who told the news source that other Aussie states should follow suit.
“This is a breakthrough in terms of reducing harm for those people who are affected by gambling and of course the most harmful form of gambling is poker (slot) machines.”
Government data illustrates that A$178m (€119.6m) was spent on electronic gambling machines in Tasmanian pubs, clubs and casinos in the 2021-22 financial year.
But the plan is not without its critics. The Tasmanian Hospitality Association described the plan as “lies” after the Liberal Party campaigned against a Labour proposal to ban poker machines for pubs and clubs during the 2018 state election campaign.
“On any objective measure, the backflip is a slap in the face to hotel and pub customers and hard-working small and family businesses in Tasmania, many of whom are only just recovering from the pandemic,” said THA CEO Steve Old.