ClubsACT welcomes recognition by the ACT Labor and Greens Government of the essential role local clubs play in the social life of Canberrans and looks forward to working with both parties to ensure their objective to reduce gambling harm can be achieved without irreparably damaging the sector.
“The measures being sought by the new ACT Government are in large part reasoned. It shows ACT Labor and the Greens have listened to the representations made by community clubs and for that we commend them,” ClubsACT Chief Executive Gwyn Rees said.
“It is important that as next steps are taken, the Government continues to do so in consultation with the club sector to minimise injurious financial impacts.”
“For example, while it is true that gaming machines in some other jurisdictions support $5 bet limits and $100 load-up limits – noting also that all accept $50 notes while we do not, the machines approved in the ACT and already purchased by our clubs operate on a different protocol. We don’t oppose moving towards these restrictions but need a robust assessment of what changes will and won’t be possible with the current gaming technology and without clubs facing onerous costs.
“If the expenses are too great, this will be prejudicial for small clubs in particular, whose operations could become untenable without compensation.
“We welcome the fact Labor and the Greens have clearly and publicly spelled out both their harm reduction goals and proposed support for community clubs.”
“Water remains a critical issue for our many clubs who maintain public assets like sporting fields and golf courses, so we are pleased to see the promise of a water costs review. Helping clubs diversify and funding for energy efficiency upgrades will help with future sustainability.
“Last summer clubs demonstrated once again their important role in our community, implementing a range of initiatives to support people impacted by the horrific bushfire season, including becoming safe havens for people who had to evacuate their homes. The new Parliamentary Agreement formally acknowledges the part clubs have always played by pledging to support clubs to become smoke and fire refuges.
“Our club sector has already taken huge steps towards reducing reliance on gaming. Since September 2015, the number of machines on gaming floors has been reduced from 5022 to just 3700 – well on its way to the Government’s stated goal of 3500.
“Clubs have demonstrated their commitment to reducing gambling harm in our community and we hope the Government embraces the input and expertise the sector can offer moving forward.”
For media enquiries please contact:
Gwyn Rees, ClubsACT
0410 902 982
Gwyn Rees is the CEO of ClubsACT