The majority voted in favour of a motion that this bill, as amended, be agreed to. This means that the majority agree with the bill, as it has been amended, and that they can now decide on whether to pass the bill in the House of Representatives.(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through here. )
Background to the bill
The National Gambling Reform Bill 2012 was introduced along with the National Gambling Reform (Related Matters) Bill (No. 1) 2012 and the National Gambling Reform (Related Matters) Bill (No. 2) 2012. Together, these bills relate to a national scheme for gaming machines in order to reduce the harms associated with gambling on these machines.
According to the bills digest, these bills introduce the following:
- from the end of 2013, new electronic gaming machines ('EGMs') either manufactured in, or imported into, Australia be capable of supporting an approved precommitment system
- by 2016, EGMs be linked together as part of a state-wide or territory-wide precommitment system, and display electronic warning messages (with extended timelines for smaller venues) and
- from 1 May 2013 Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) located in gaming venues have a $250 daily withdrawal limit.(Read more about the bills in the bills digest of the National Gambling Reform Bill 2012.
Precommitment involves a gambler setting a loss limit before they commence playing. Independent MP Andrew Wilkie made the introduction of mandatory precommitment a key part of his agreement to support the minority Gillard Labor Government after the 2010 election.(Read more about Mr Wilkie's commitment to introducing precommitment here. ) Although the Labor Government originally agreed to introduce mandatory precommitment, these bills limit the reforms to ensuring the EGMs have precommitment capability.(Read more about the change in the Labor Government's approach to gambling reform on ABC News here.) There will also be a mandatory precommitment trial, to test its feasibility.