New bill to update and streamline gambling laws
10/15/09 – The government of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has tabled a bill in the Legislative Assembly which it claims will streamline and better control and regulate gambling in the province.
ACT Treasurer Katy Gallagher said this week that the Unlawful Gambling Bill was developed after the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission completed a review of the Unlawful Games Act 1984.
"It updates and brings together for the first time all unlawful gaming and unlawful betting provision into the one act," she said. "It makes all gambling unlawful, unless permitted under the bill or another gaming law."
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Ms Gallagher emphasised that the ban on poker tournaments in Canberra clubs and hotels will continue, but such activities will still be allowed at the Canberra Casino. Poker tournaments are allowed in New South Wales pubs but the ACT has taken a tougher line.
"A key consideration has been that introducing these tournaments into the ACT – even the lower risk, no-fee-no-prize tournaments – has the potential to increase the level of problem gambling in the community either directly or indirectly," she said.