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Parliamentary Committee dismisses complaints about mandatory messages on gaming machines


Parliament’s Regulations Review Select Committee has dismissed complaints from some businesses in the gambling sector. The complaints were about regulations requiring gaming machines to provide mandatory information to gamblers.

Deputy Secretary of Internal Affairs, Andrew Secker, said that the Australasian Gaming Machine Manufacturers’ Association (AGMMA) and casino operator Skycity Entertainment had complained to the Committee about what has become known as the “pop-up” regulation in the gambling harm prevention regulations.

Mr Secker said that pop-ups are automatic messages that would appear on gaming machine screens at intervals of no more than 30 minutes advising how long that session of gambling had been in progress, how much had been won or lost, and asking if the gambler wished to continue.

New gaming machines must have pop-ups from 1 October 2005 and other gaming machines must have them from 1 July 2009. The minimum technical standards for the regulations will be gazetted as soon as possible.

In dismissing the complaints the Select Committee confirmed that:

  • the regulation was in accordance with the general objects and intentions of the Gambling Act
  • the regulation did not trespass unduly on Skycity’s and gamblers’ personal rights and liberties
  • the regulation is clear enough and does not need elucidation
  • there was sufficient consultation before the regulation was made.

    “It is telling that concerns about preventing harm from gambling are leading to similar regulations in different countries: mandatory provision of information to gamblers,” Mr Secker said.

    Similar “pop-up” regulations are in place in Nova Scotia in Canada. Research there shows that, while pop-ups are not a complete answer, they have produced some clear, positive results, particularly in relation to harm prevention.

    The New South Wales government has just announced that it has accepted a recommendation from an independent tribunal that mandatory information also be provided on machines in that state.

    Full text of the Select Committee’s report, Complaints Regarding Regulation 8 of the Gambling (Harm Prevention and Minimisation) Regulations 2004, are on the Parliamentary website,

    Media contact

    Andrew Secker
    Deputy Secretary, Regulation and Compliance Branch Phone 04 495 9329, Cellular 027 281 5211

    Vince Cholewa
    Communications Advisor Phone 04 495 9350, Cellular 027 272 4270