The Gaming Technologies Association (GTA) – representing poker machine manufacturers – today broadly supported some key aspects of the Federal Government’s response to what it saw as a “disappointing” final report of the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Gambling.

“The government has importantly called for a ‘nationally consistent’ model for electronic gaming machines, which we support”, said GTA’s Chief Executive Officer, Ross Ferrar.

 “Regulatory standards and processes need to be harmonised in Australia so that productivity and policy aims are not undermined by uneven regulations among state jurisdictions. The Federal Government has recognised this problem and will address this and other issues in a new national council” said Mr Ferrar.  

The GTA also supports the government’s move to improve harm minimisation measures and will continue to support initiatives on this front.
Mr Ferrar said, “We are pleased the government has adopted a balanced and considered approach to the Productivity Commission’s recommendations, a number of which are backward-looking, excessively costly, based on unproven data, set unrealistic deadlines for implementation and are unlikely to achieve their aims.

He added, “The Commission should have worked with the industry more closely to develop feasible solutions which address proven issues.  The inquiry has been a platform over the last two years for entrenched critics to take cheap shots at 140,000 Australian workers who provide a legitimate entertainment service with professionalism and integrity.

“Any changes that might be taken up need to be phased in over a more reasonable period than recommended by the Commission and with the full engagement of operators and suppliers.  Industry must be at the table and its voice must be heard to ensure effective outcomes.

“The Commission’s proposed restrictions on maximum bets and cash input limits will do little to alleviate the problems of a relatively few players, while having a negative impact on responsible, recreational players.

“Gaming machines are designed to entertain.  Every one of them is carefully tested before being approved for use and is stringently controlled once in operation.  The Commission attacked the providers and is not recommending practical solutions to problem gambling”, concluded Mr Ferrar.