Experts are warning that reforms imposed on the Crown casino will do little to stem gambling losses across the Australian state of Victoria.
They say that gamblers can simply go to pubs and clubs, where the restrictions do not apply, according to newspaper The Age.
Punters at Crown will be forced to take a break every three hours and restricted to a maximum of 36 hours a week under the Andrews government’s new rules to tackle gambling harm.
But Carol Bennett, chief executive of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, said the changes were useless unless they were implemented statewide because a gambler could simply move to a pub or club that has no regulatory time limits.
“Our recommendation has always been that the measures put in place in Crown should also be translated into pubs and clubs because we’re otherwise just shifting the problem,” Bennett said.
She said the new rules would be difficult to enforce,and it was disappointing the reforms did not go further than those recommended by the “devastating and quite catastrophic” royal commission. But the announcement was still a welcome small step in the right direction, she added.