GTA dismisses Xenophon’s gaming policy

21 February, 2018 by Vanessa Cavasinni

The Gaming Technologies Association (GTA) has called on Nick Xenophon’s SA-BEST party to withdraw its gaming policy, stating that the claims within the proposal misleads voters.

Nick Xenophon’s party announced the gaming policy on Monday morning. Within it, it drew out a plan that if elected it would change all pub gaming licenses to seven year licenses; reduce the number of EGMS by 50 per cent over five years for pubs that operate more than 10 machines; and restrict jackpots to $500 – among other proposals.

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The GTA has now responded, stating that the policy’s two main claims in regards to gaming were undermined by a recent Federal Court decision made in favour of Crown Casino and Aristocrat.

Within the policy SA-BEST committed to: “Making [poker] machines ‘con-free’ by removing misleading and deceptive features such as near misses and ‘losses disguised as wins’.”

The policy further claimed to ensure that consumers are “protected” and can make “fully informed choices with relevant information”.

Citing the dismissed claims made against Crown and Aristocrat, Ross Ferrar, CEO of the GTA, contested Xenophon’s statements, and called on his party to rethink its gaming policy.

“Our industry has been subjected to stringent legal scrutiny and has passed with flying colours. However, opponents of our industry continue to rely on the very same claims that were rejected by the Federal Court. The truth is that every poker machine in operation in Australia is subject to stringent legislation, regulatory review and oversight, including in South Australia.”

He continued: “Justice Mortimer conducted an open and lengthy legal process in the Federal Court and ultimately the claims made about poker machine design were emphatically rejected. I would urge Mr Xenophon to respect the findings of the Federal Court and amend his policy and withdraw his comments.”

The Australian Hotels Association South Australia has also been emphatic in its denunciation of the platform, stating that it was “cynical” and would “decimate hotels across South Australia”.