Clubs breathe sigh of relief

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The CEO of St Marys Leagues Club breathed a sigh of relief when it was revealed the Federal Government would trial mandatory pre-commitment technology on poker machines.


And while Rod Desborough is happy with the government’s back flip, he believes there is still a long way to go.


“I think it’s great that common sense prevailed,” he said.


“Trialling pre-commitment technology has been the industry position since day one, but it has to be fully trialled.”


Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, announced last weekend a new batch of initiatives to address problem gambling, including a trial of the pre-commitment technology in the ACT instead of forcing all clubs to adhere.


“This is a positive step to creating evidence-based policy,” Mr Desborough said.


Even if the trial supports reform, Mr Desborough said he would continue to support the technology, providing the evidence was there to show cost benefits.


“If it’s proven that mandatory technology will be successful, the [cost] impact will be the same. That’s where the cost benefits analysis needs to come in,” he said.


“We need to find a fine balance where we can still help problem gamblers without affecting people’s jobs and the club industry.”


In addition to paying ACT clubs to host the trial, Ms Gillard revealed the government would cover the cost of mandatory pre-commitment technology on poker machines and boost counselling funding.


Lindsay MP David Bradbury has been contacted for comment.

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