After reneging on her plans to implement Andrew Wilkie’s plans for poker machine reform, Julia Gillard will be drafting her own laws for pokies in the coming weeks. Rather than rolling out an industry-wide gambling reform, she has decided that a trial of precommitment technology would be more appropriate.
Over the course of the next few weeks, Gillard will outline exactly what will be required of poker machine club operators who take part in the trial. The plan will include details about compensation and software, two of the biggest issues that operators have been asking about for the past month.
While Gillard is confident with her plan, other politicians are not so sure about it. The Greens have claimed that supporting Gillard’s trial may delay any efforts for actual reform. A trial may be what the clubs want, but it is not actually doing anything about the growing rates of gambling addiction across the country.
“My concern is that because the bill is so weak, and so timid, that in fact what it does is it stops anything happening for the following years because we have a trial under way,” says Greens Senator Di Natale.