The Australian state of Victoria is to instigate ID checks on poker machine players in a bid to prevent money laundering and impose player loss limits to reduce player harm. The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission, (VGCCC) also indicated that in intends to reduce the speed of machine play and enforce the closure of most venues overnight.
The total number of gaming machines allowed in Victoria at present is 30,000, of which 2,628 are allocated to the state’s Melbourne casino, half of the remaining 27,372 are allocated to clubs, and the other half to hotels. The VGCCC is implementing a number of measures as part of a wider programme on reducing harm around gambling, including anti-harm measures at Crown Casino, starting with a direction banning marketing programmes targeting at risk and vulnerable members of the community.
The change in Victoria adds pressure on other Australian states, particularly New South Wales (NSW), to follow suit and heed community demands for greater regulation of poker machine gambling and other states are also trialling similar measures. Australia is home to one-fifth of the world’s poker machine licences, the most of any jurisdiction outside Las Vegas. More than a million Australians are at risk of developing a harmful betting habit, according to public health experts.