Tuesday, April 23, 2024

New pokies cap for NT

The Northern Territory Government has announced a new cap on gaming machines in community venues across the Territory – down from 1,699 to 1,659.

This brings an end to a nine-month moratorium on new gaming machines in Alice Springs, announced last September, Minister for Racing, Gaming and Licensing, Chansey Paech said today.

“Our Government is aware that problem gambling creates a significant public health risk to communities across the NT, and that’s why we are doing what we can to reduce availability of gaming machines,” said Minister Paech.

“The CLP abandoned the cap on gaming machines, enabling a 56% spike in numbers. We reinstated the cap and have now lowered it three times since coming to Government in 2016, with close to 200 machines removed from the pool.

“We continue to promote responsible gambling and provide ongoing funding for research as well as community-based support services.”

The moratorium was introduced following community concern over plans to add 60 gaming machines to hotels and taverns in the town. Applications for 40 gaming machines in two Alice Springs venues have now been withdrawn.

Existing applications lodged last year for a total of 20 additional gaming machines at the Todd Tavern and Gap View Hotel remain in train, however no new applications from community venues across the Territory will be accepted once the cap is reached.

The Territory’s two casinos have separate, long-standing agreements with the NT Government that are not subject to the cap; however they will have to adhere to a new code of practice which prioritises harm minimisation.

The NT Casino Code of Practice for Gaming Harm Minimisation 2023 – to be reviewed biennially – provides clear direction to casino operators to ensure compliance with the Gaming Control Act 1993.

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