The Tasmanian Gaming Commission has been given the green light by the government to implement a range of new precautionary measures to guard against addictive gambling in land establishments, ABC Australia reports.
Most of Tasmania's estimated 2 000 problem gamblers are addicted to pokie machines, and the new measures have been developed after a recent study confirmed this. The government's treasury minister, Michael Aird first released information on the proposed new precautions in March this (2009) year. These include limiting the EFTPOS transactions in gaming areas to one per person per day, reduced maximum bets and restrictions on food and alcohol being served to people playing pokies.
After attending a Ministerial Council on Gambling meeting in Brisbane last week, Aird has now given approval to the Gaming Commission to implement most of the measures immediately. Others will be considered by Parliament in the coming months.
Aird says the one area that needs further work is around pre-commitment technology, like smart cards, where the minister says he is in favour of the technology, but that it should be rolled out at national level.
"So we are going to work with the other [Australian] states to ensure consistency in pre-commitment technology which can be used across Australia," he said. "Tasmania can't go it alone on the use of this technology [as] it is changing rapidly and we need a national response," he said.
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