Wednesday 27 October 2004


Mr FINCH (Question) - Mr President, a question to the Leader. Does the State Government believe the reported Federal Government proposal to limit the amount of money that problem gamblers can withdraw from ATMs in gambling venues is a good idea? The second part: is the State Government concerned about the proximity of ATMs to gambling venues?

Mr AIRD - Mr President, I thank the honourable member for his question. When gaming machines were introduced in Tasmania, the State Government ensured that they were strictly prohibited from all hotels and clubs licensed to operate gaming machines. In this way, Tasmania leads most other States and has already met the Federal proposal on that basis. The only exceptions are the two casinos where ATMs are allowed outside the restricted gaming areas as a service to tourists, visitors and guests attending conferences at the venues. EFTPOS terminals are permitted in hotels and clubs in order to service guests, particularly tourists and diners. Only one withdrawal per day can be made for the purpose of gambling and all transactions are carried out by an employee of the venue on behalf of the patron.

The Tasmanian Gaming Commission has ruled that an ATM may not be located in any building which contains a restricted gaming area or any building owned by the venue operator adjacent to the venue. The State Government, needless to say, is constantly seeking effective means to minimise harm to people with a gambling problem.