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The ACT Government has introduced new legislation that allows the casino to start buying authorisations for gaming machines from clubs and hotels, but the casino will only be able to operate gaming machines once redevelopment of the casino and the casino precinct is complete.

Gaming machines at the casino will be subject to the most robust harm minimisation measures in Australia. In addition to requiring a net loss limit to be set using mandatory pre-commitment, bet limits on any gaming machines operated by the casino will also be capped.

What does the evidence say?

A number of studies have looked at whether a reduction in the maximum bet limit and intensity of play would assist in reducing the harm from gaming machines. Introducing a maximum bet limit per spin would reduce the average loss per hour of playing a gaming machine.

No jurisdiction in Australia has set a maximum bet limit below $5 per spin and therefore there is limited research available evaluating the impact of this measure.

The Productivity Commission found there was a strong case for the introduction of much lower bet limits than the current maximum $5 or $10 per spin. The limit should be low enough to constrain the spending rate of problem gamblers and limit the harm that can occur when betting escalates, but not so low as to adversely affect the enjoyment of recreational gamblers (who typically bet at quite low levels, but may also enjoy the option of higher bets at times).

You can read studies on the impact of bet limits at the links below.

Useful resources

Blaszczynski , A. Sharpe, L., and Walker, M. 2001, The Assessment of the Impact of the Reconfiguration on Electronic Gaming Machines as Harm Minimization Strategies for Problem Gambling. Report for the Gaming Industry Operators Group, University of Sydney Gambling Research Group, Sydney.

Livingstone, C, Rintoul, A & Francis, L (2014). 'What is the evidence for harm minimisation measures in gambling venues?' Evidence Base, no. 2.

Productivity Commission (2010), Gambling, Report No. 50, Canberra.

Schottler Consulting 2009, Impact of Changes to EGM Characteristics on Play Behaviour of Recreational Gamblers, Prepared for the Department of Justice (Victoria), August.