When pokie reform was passed, it included a provision that would limit players to withdrawing $250 whenever they visited ATM machines at pokie clubs. Now, the reform law has been repealed, and poker machine club owners are confused as to whether or not they are exempt from the ATM limit.
According to The Guardian, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has instructed Australia’s National Gambling Regulator not to engage in active monitoring of compliance. Instead, he has requested that the regulating body take an educative approach when administrating the ATM limit measure. As such, it does not seem as though clubs will be penalized if they fail to enforce ATM limits.
While this may come as good news to some clubs, others are not pleased. Cashpoint, a company that operates ATMs across Australia, had prepared their machines to comply with the ATM limit. The company spent upwards of $100 000 updating their machines’ software so that players would not be able to withdraw more than $250 in one transaction.
Now, the company is unsure where to go from here. Pub and club owners are also perplexed. Andrews directed the National Gambling Regulator to issue exemptions for clubs and pubs that have applied. Over 3200 poker machine venues submitted applications, claiming that the ATM limit would be inconvenient for the local community.
Now, they are getting their way. However, some club owners are not sure if they have been automatically exempted or if they have to wait for word from the regulator. “The Coalition remains committed to removing this unnecessary and costly red-tape burden on the ATM industry as soon as possible,” says a spokesperson for the Office of the Social Services Minister.
At the moment, South Australia and Victoria are the only states to impose ATM limits, as this measure has been passed at a local level. The rest of the country will not have to enforce the measure.