Federal monopoly broken as future gaming market legislation passes the Legislative Council

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24 November 2021

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Finance

The Tasmanian Liberal Government welcomes that the Gaming Control Amendment (Future Gaming Market) Bill has now passed through the Legislative Council.

We took this policy to the public, consulted widely and now we have passed this very important legislation through the next stage of scrutiny.

The Future Gaming Market policy ends the Federal Group monopoly and means we have more money for essential services such as health and education, certainty and security for jobs in pubs and clubs, more support for problem gamblers and less for the Federal Group.

Once again, our State is nation-leading in the area of gambling harm minimisation with strengthened measures to further reduce problem gambling.

Through this debate the Government agreed to a small number of minor amendments to the bill in the Legislative Council to include a ‘public health and consumer protection focus’ in the object of the Act, precluding fully automated table gaming machines from high roller casinos, clarifying that venue licences expire in 2043, reinforcing ‘whistleblower’ protections for gaming employees, clarifying the role of the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission and to legislate for reviews of the introduction of fully automated table games and simulated racing events after 12 months.

After more than 42 hours of debate in the Legislative Council, which followed 23 hours of debate in the House of Assembly, the bill will now go back to the House of Assembly for final consideration and ratification of the amendments tomorrow.

As part of the Government’s approach, I will soon instruct the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission to give advice on potential options to implement a smart card-based identification system to enable setting limits on gaming losses in advance. This holds potential to play a major role in harm-minimisation, especially for problem gamblers.

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