Gambling reform Bill passes First Reading

  • Peter Dunne
Internal Affairs

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says changes to the gambling sector contained in the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3), will see potentially dishonest gambling activities tightened up and red tape reduced. The Bill passed its First Reading today.

“The No 3 Bill will give communities better information on grant-making decisions; strengthen provisions that deal with conflicts of interest and reduce the regulatory complexity and cost for gambling operators.

“These provisions help to ensure that gambling is undertaken to benefit the community and ensure every cent possible goes to worthy causes”, says Mr Dunne.”

The Bill provides for greater transparency of grant decision-making and reforms the system for paying the venues that host gaming machines. 

“Under the new transparency requirements contained in the Bill, societies will have to publish additional information that may include the purpose of a grant, the geographic location of grant recipients and whether a grant applicant is a local, regional or national organisation.

“On venue payments, the Bill proposes changes that would allow a simpler venue payments system than the existing payment arrangements and has the potential to reduce societies’ overall costs. The Department will work with representatives of the Class 4 gambling sector to come up with the best solution,” says Mr Dunne.

Another key objective of the Bill is to streamline the Act’s appeals framework.  Societies have right of appeal to the Gambling Commission against the Department’s decisions to suspend, cancel, not issue or not renew Class 3 and 4 licences.

“The Gambling Commission was established under the Act as a specialist body that can efficiently consider appeals.  The Bill upholds this role by allowing an affected party to seek judicial review only after that party has exercised their right of appeal to the Gambling Commission and the appeal has been finally determined”, says Mr Dunne.