Wilkie’s Pokie Licence must be Trialled

Clubs Australia has written to the Federal Government offering its support for a trial of mandatory pre-commitment in one state or territory.

A trial of Andrew Wilkie’s experimental pokie licence technology was first recommended by the Productivity Commission 15 months ago and is also supported the Salvation Army (Eastern Territory) and many of Australia’s leading gambling researchers.


Clubs Australia has met with senior staff from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and outlined the conditions upon which it would support a trial of mandatory pre-commitment.


Despite claims to the contrary by Andrew Wilkie, there is no evidence to suggest that mandatory pre-commitment would reduce problem gambling. The only trials conducted in Australia have involved voluntary pre-commitment; technology clubs and hotels support the introduction of.


The need for a trial of mandatory pre-commitment was included in the Productivity Commission’s 2010 report into gambling.


Recommendation 19.2

Trialling should:

  • test the design features of full pre-commitment for possible modification
  • substantiate that full pre-commitment has sufficient advantages over partial pre-commitment to justify proceeding with its implementation in all jurisdictions.


Executive Director of Clubs Australia Anthony Ball said that with clubs backing a trial of mandatory pre-commitment, it’s now up the Federal Government to make one happen.


“The suggestion that clubs, hotels and casinos be told to spend $3 billion on technology that has never been tested let alone proved reveals the complete stranglehold Andrew Wilkie has over the Federal Government.


“We have a farcical situation where Andrew Wilkie has made clear that the Federal Government must support his proposed legislation regardless of the findings of any trial.


“Many Labor MPs have already publicly called for a trial of mandatory pre-commitment.


“Yet for reasons that are clear to just about everyone, the Government continues to stall on a trial.


“I have communicated to Minister Jenny Macklin that if we can agree on the terms of a trial, Clubs Australia will take responsibility for locating willing venues. Already we have clubs in Canberra showing interest. The Federal Government must make clear to Andrew Wilkie that its support for mandatory pre-commitment is conditional on the technology being proved in a trial to reduce problem gambling.


“It’s time for the Prime Minister to stand up to Andrew Wilkie and make clear to him who is in charge,” he said.


Contact: Jeremy Bath 0419 267 789