The Gaming Control Amendment (Future Gaming Market) Bill 2021 represents a unique opportunity to enact sound public policy in relation to gaming in Tasmania. In particular, it represents an opportunity to review to what degree the gaming market model benefits the Tasmanian economy and society and to what degree it is consistent with a ‘health-in-all policies’ approach to public policy.
TasCOSS notes that, according to the Government Summary, the biggest winner in terms of revenue from the proposed changes are pubs and clubs, with Federal Group standing to lose the most and ‘state and community’ increasing its share marginally. Thus, the main impact of the new model in terms of revenue distribution is to redistribute player losses amongst industry players. There is no mention of the level of Return to Player (RTP), let alone increasing the level of RTP, despite a stated aim of the proposed policy being to ensure returns from gambling are ‘shared appropriately’ among the industry, players and the community (represented by the Tasmanian Government).
TasCOSS have outlined a number of concerns with the Bill in relation to the stated policy aims, in reference to electronic gaming machines (EGMs), and believe that the recommendations put forward in this submission will:
- Allow Tasmanian communities a say for the first time in where EGMs are located in this state,
- Reduce the potential harms caused by EGMs in those communities; and
- Ensure a better return to the community, via the Tasmanian Government, through a more consistent approach to revenue distribution.