Statement In Relation To Proposed Legal Action By Maurice Blackburn

Clubs Australia is aware of media reports today regarding legal action being considered by Maurice Blackburn lawyers in relation to the design features of electronic gaming machines.

Based on those reports, such legal action would appear to be in relation to the manufacturers of gaming machines, not their operation by venues.

However, what today’s reports fail to recognise is that the manufacture of all gaming machines in Australia is subject to the National Standards for Gaming Machines, which are set by state and territory government regulators.

These standards are designed to ensure fairness, security, integrity and auditability and no gaming machine can be in operation in Australia unless it meets these standards.

Both the manufacture and operation of gaming machines is highly regulated by governments in all Australian jurisdictions. Indeed, features available on many gaming machines overseas (including in the United States), such as messages like ‘try again’, auto-play features and bets of up to $5000 per spin, are banned in Australia.

The club industry has long worked with state governments to introduce proven, effective measures to reduce the rate of problem gambling and we will continue to do so. That work by the industry and state governments has seen the problem gambling rate fall in every state and territory over the past decade. Australia now has one of the lowest problem gambling rates in the world, averaging less than 0.5% of the adult population.

The fact is that poker machines are a popular form of entertainment for millions of Australians, and the vast majority of people gamble responsibly and within their budget.