Monday, September 19, 2011

Misguided Nanny State

One of the more misunderstood current affairs topics in Australia at the moment is "poker machine pre commitment".

A proposal by the minority federal government, prompted by one independant politician who holds the balance of power.

Each gambler will have to apply for & be granted a "gambling card", similar to a driver's licence or credit card.

Before commencing gambling, the player will "pre-commit" an amount they are prepared to lose, & their card will not allow them to play beyond that point.

So the theory goes. And so the theory will fall apart in practice.

It will work about as well as a similar system that would limit, say, the number of cigarettes a smoker may purchase.

There will however be quite an impact upon poker machine revenue.
Applying for the gambling card will deter overseas tourists. Carrying around the card (never mind applying for it) will deter the casual/discretionary punter.

The deadline set for introduction of appropriate technology is 2014. There isn't yet a machine developed that will be compliant with the new technology.

It won't be possible to manufacture, ship, & install a replacement machine for every poker machine in the country. Never mind the lead up time to develop a pre-commitment compliant machine.

And it isn't just a matter of developing a new machine. An entirely different machine will have to be developed for each state. For each state has different computer protocols & (insert secret computer jargon here) methods of communication.

Actually a second machine will have to be developed for each state, as in each state the casino protocols & computer communication languages are different from those in pubs/clubs.

Once a machine is developed it isn't a matter of, say, converting a NSW machine to Qld protocols. They have to start development all over again from scratch. This is why a game you will see in NSW does not appear in Qld until a year or so later.

1 comment:

Brian said...

The RCMP does the same thing up here in Northern Canada. Here in Nain the cop shop and the residences, 8 in all, are at the end of a dead end street. It is easy to slip in the ‘white ghetto’ reference at times.