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New Law Cuts Maximum Bet on Aussie Pokies in Half

New Law Cuts Maximum Bet on Aussie Pokies in Half

Aussie high-rollers may be disappointed to hear that as of December 31, 2016, the maximum bet on Australian poker machines has been halved to $5.

Image Credit: IllawarraMercury

South Australian lawmakers made the decision as far back as 2013 as a way of curbing gambling related addiction, although .

The argument for this reduction is to reduce speed at which Aussie betters can spend their bankroll. Poker machines operate at a speed of 20 spins per minute and with the previous maximum of $10 this allows players to spend as much as $200 a minute.

Many argue that the maximum should be reduced to as low as $1 per bet since $20 spent per minute is far more expensive than any other leisure activity on the market.

Whether this will contribute more responsible gambling behavior is questionable, and the concession to make these legislative changes could be a result of public scrutiny as the Australian government relies heavily on gambling tax as a source of revenue.

In New South Wales, casino members could store up to $5,000 on a casino account thanks to a 25 time increase in the standard limit for playing on pokies.

"The government's intentions involve appeasing the public rather than addressing the national problem of gambling addiction."

Considering the negative public response, the government chose to reduce the maximum amount of cash players can store on machines from $10,000 to $7,500. Moreover, the legal minimum time self-proclaimed gambling addicts could ban themselves from a casino was doubled from three to six months.

ABC Australia’s Mike Steketee declares the legal changes as acts of tokenism, arguing that the government's intentions involve appeasing the public rather than addressing the national problem of gambling addiction.

A 50% reduction, regardless of the actual amount, is still a significant step forward and will hopefully promote healthy and responsible poker fun over the coming year.

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