MELBOURNE, Victoria (September 12, 2023) — Efforts by Victoria’s clubs lobby to enhance the self-exclusion program for problem gamblers, particularly related to poker machines is gaining momentum.
Gaming Minister Melissa Horne had previously announced plans to introduce new poker machine laws in Victoria. These proposed changes include limiting player losses, implementing a mandatory pre-commitment system, and requiring players to use a card to sign up and play.
Meanwhile, the state government is currently consulting with stakeholders to finalize the details of these changes. Additionally, they have added a review of the self-exclusion program as part of the process.
Self-exclusion registers are mechanisms that allow problem gamblers to voluntarily ban themselves from gaming areas in venues, aiming to reduce their exposure to poker machines.
The current self-exclusion system has not been updated for five years, and there are multiple registers for different types of gambling, including TAB wagering, online betting, and gambling at the Crown casino. This fragmented approach has prompted calls for major improvement.
Community Clubs Victoria (CCV) is advocating for an overhaul of the existing disjointed self-exclusion system. They plan to request funding to expand their self-exclusion scheme, which is currently funded by members.
The Alliance for Gambling Reform’s CEO, Carol Bennett, supports the idea of improving self-exclusion programs. She highlights the need for a national model to encompass all forms of gambling rather than having separate registers in different states and by different gambling companies.
The government has expressed its intention to work closely with venues, including the clubs sector, on implementing these reforms and supporting them through the changes.
A survey conducted by Resolve Political Monitor exclusively for a leading Melbourne newspaper found that 57 percent of Victorians support the state’s poker machine reforms, while only one in 10 opposes them.
Overall, the above highlights efforts to strengthen self-exclusion programs and implement new regulations aimed at curbing problem gambling in Victoria, particularly related to poker machines.