Its public knowledge that Australian independent MP, Andrew Wilkie is an avid anti-gambling and in particular anti-pokie machine supporter. So, when the UK announced their new FixedOdd Betting Terminals FOBT policy, Wilkie was most certainly front and centre, taking notes. As expected, he now wants the Australian government to adopt the same policy and reduce the maximum stakes limit on pokie machines.
Wilkie said: “the federal government has it within its power to legislate for $1 maximum bets, as well as other harm minimisation measures like mandatory pre-commitment.” He criticised the AU government by saying: “Unfortunately, the government has shown itself to be thoroughly uninterested when it comes to reining in poker machines. And no wonder, when you look at the enormous donations both major parties receive from the gambling industry.”
Wilkie isn’t alone in his crusade to get the AU government to implement the FOBT policy. Another popular anti-gambling activist, Tim Costello, jumped in on the argument. In fact, Costello said that the implementation of the new policy would serve as a “slap in the face for Australia.” Costello added that Australia has “politicians who have allowed pokies to spread to every suburb, particularly the poorest postcodes, which is why we have the greatest gambling losses of anywhere in the world- 40% more per head than the next country.”
FOBT Policy Uncertain in AU
As you would imagine, the new FixedOdd Betting Terminal policy will not have many fans in the land down under, for casino operators and gamblers. Recently, the Victorian government joined NWS by implementing a point of consumption tax for online betting companies. While the tax is the lowest in AU, there is bound to be repercussions despite the tax going towards worthy causes.
At the moment, it’s unclear whether the Australian government would implement the UK’s FOBT policy, but we will keep you posted.
Stay tuned to our blog page for updates on the Australian gambling market.