What is a licence to punt?
Andrew Wilkie is an independent MP from Tasmania, elected at the 2010 federal election, and is one of four independents who currently hold the balance of power in the Australian Parliament.
As a condition of his support for the Government, he has insisted on changes to the way people play poker machines.
Under his demands, all poker machine players must present identification, register and have what is effectively a licence to punt in order to play.
This card will require players to pre-set limits on the amount of money or time they wish to play before each session. Although there will be default limits, players can choose to set their own limits. This is called “mandatory pre-commitment”.
Players must register and use the card, whether or not they have a problem with gambling.
Players must register and use the card, whether you play once a week, once a month, or once a year.
When you reach your pre-set limit, the card will prevent you from playing further. You will be unable to play any poker machine anywhere in the country for at least 24 hours, and maybe longer.
Additionally, Mr Wilkie wants there to be a $250 daily limit on the amount of money anyone can withdraw from their savings or cheque account, from an ATM in a club or pub with poker machines. This would also apply to everyone, whether you wanted to use the money to gamble, buy a meal, or spend the money elsewhere.
Mandatory pre-commitment technology is expensive. The technology required for mandatory pre-commitment will make half the current machines obsolete and would need to be replaced. That alone is about $2.5 billion. The other half of the machines would have hardware or software upgrades. That’s another $500 million. So that’s $3 billion.
ClubsAustralia is the federated organisation of club associations in every State and Territory of Australia as well as New Zealand. They represent 4,000 clubs and 90,000 employees nationwide.
A licence to punt will severely impact on the viability of all pubs and clubs, especially smaller venues and those in rural areas. This technology will make hundreds of clubs and pubs financially unviable, resulting in job losses and venue closures.
Who are ClubsAustralia and the AHA?
To learn more about ClubsAustralia, please visit the following websites.
The Australian Hotels Association is the peak organisational body for the hotel industry in Australasia. There are more than 6000 hotels in Australia employing more than 188,000 people in all states and territories.
To learn more about the AHA please visit our websites:
Still need more information?
Click here for a link to some Frequently Asked Questions about poker machines and the licence to punt.
to view a Fact Sheet about the Government's proposed changes to gambling policy.