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08 November 2010

Australian Pokie Palaces Warned Over ATM Credit Cards, by Greg Tingle - 7th November 2010

G'day punters. Australian hotels and pubs, also known as pokie palaces, are being warned not to let the ATM machines accept credit cards. Media Man and Gambling911 investigate with this most serious report.

Pubs and pubs with pokie machines aka poker machines or "one armed bandits", are being strongly encouraged to ensure their ATM's (automatic teller machines) do not allow patrons to withdraw cash from credit cards.

Yes, its a battle of the Australian political machine VS the poker machines! Who have you placed money on?

A New South Wales government investigation has found 8 ATM's in 6 venues across New South Wales are still providing the option, despite a ban introduced last year. That's about a 100% strike rate (not in the government's favor).

Venues face fines of over $1,000 bucks if they breach the rule, but obviously the fine has not outlawed the practice - its still happening.

The Gaming and Racing Minister Kevin Greene says licensed venues are responsible for ensuring compliance with all gaming harm minimisation requirements.

"Credit card cash withdrawals were banned from ATMs in pubs and clubs in January 2009 by the NSW Government," he told the press.

"The intent of these laws is to stop problem gamblers gambling on credit." Duh!

Overall compliance standards have been extremely high, with just 6 out of more than 3,000 pubs and clubs found in breach, but do you trust the numbers?

Many media and gaming industry insiders were skeptical of numbers released by the Australian Productivity Commission report on Australian gaming and gambling.

Greene says inspectors from the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing regularly conduct audits of licensed venues and in response to complaints.

Leaks says more and more punters are playing online and the lure of almost exact copy machines games like the popular Cleopatra, manufactured by IGT, are a big part of the reason why. Online casinos are also offering what are understood to be extremely attractive sign up bonuses to new players, where as pubs do not offer sign up bonuses, rather just cheap food and drinks. There is also debate whether pub pokie patrons should be allowed to drink beer while they are playing the machines, since drink affects the brain. If playing at home such a rule would be basically impossible to police.

Media Man and Gambling911 encourage everyone to gamble responsibly and to play by the rules.

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Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how do you feel about the crackdown on credit card withdrawals at the pokies palaces? Tell us in the forum. If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.

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