Gaming hall ATM ban could worsen gambling problems, group says

Jan. 1, 2013

A help organization for people with gambling problems has said that a government ban on gaming venue ATMs in the Australian state of Victoria may actually be enabling compulsive gamblers.

According to a report by the Maroondah Leader, Gamblers Help Eastern said that some gambling halls had simply shifted to EFTPOS withdrawals. And while gamblers had been constrained by withdrawal limits on ATMs, this was not the case with EFTPOS.

"It comes down to the individual card limit of patrons," said Gamblers Help Eastern support worker Linda Bolton. She told the Leader that this could actually allow gamblers to increase their daily losses.

The Victoria government continues to stand behind the ATM ban, however.

"[W]e are taking this step to ensure this irresponsible technology is not available in Victoria," said Government Gaming Minister Michael O'Brien.

Since the ATM ban went into effect last July, gambling revenues have dropped by nearly 6 percent in the Maroondah district, according to statistics provided by the Leader.

For more on this topic, visit the regulatory issues research center.

Topics: Asia, Australia & Pacific , Regulatory Issues , Retail / Off-Premises

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