G'day casino and gambling millionaires, billionaires, punters, legal eagles, politicians...one and all. How long did you think it might take the Australian gambling sector to upgrade all of their machines to match up with "the promise" the ALP made to a certain "Mr X"! 3 months, 6 months? Wrong - try 10 years Jack! That's what the Australasian Casino Association reckons. Media Man and Gambling911 probe the "one armed bandits" and count the numbers with this politically top heavy report...
Political fun and games with the lovers VS haters continues down under, and news media is learning that the upgrades may take up to a decade to get in place. No, its not a bad joke, but some detractors are calling the timeframe spin, as you might just imagine.
Pre-commitment technology on the "one armed bandits" will likely take up to a decade...yep, 10 years to implement. That's what Australia's parliamentary inquiry has been advised, so don't shoot the messenger (or thank us). We're just relaying the message ok maties.
The inquiry, chaired by everyone's favourite (just kidding) "independent" MP Andrew Wilkie, is probing the concept of a pre-commitment scheme using so smart cards or other technology to basically force the hand of pokie players to set limits on their gambling, but as news media has discovered in recent weeks, there's plenty of loopholes, with trials in the UK, Britain... showing the the tech has many flaws and some regions thought it was a dismal failure!
In return for Wilkie's support in forming government, Prime Minister Julia Gillard pledged to have national pre-commitment technology in place by 2014. Many Australian media types called the deal little more than a bribe, and one that's doomed to fail, also generating more negative press for the ALP.
Now thanks to a submission to the inquiry, which took place in Hobart on Friday, Australasian Casino Association (ACA) chief executive Chris Downy advised the industry needed much more time to roll out the technology.
"The ACA believes the government's timeline is unachievable and ignores the realities of implementation of any pre-commitment system," Downy said.
"Leading manufacturers have indicated that it will take at least 10 years to implement."
Downy also advised a loss in gambling revenue would negatively impact on down under's tourism industry.
"The casino industry is leading the way in Australia in reinvesting in and building new tourism infrastructure. The $4 billion investment being made by the industry currently will be put at risk at a time when the Australian tourism industry needs investment in tourism infrastructure."
Crown Limited's James Packer is the highest profile casino tycoon - whale in Australia who frequently pushes the tourism, lifestyle and total entertainment angle.
Wilkie said he would take Downy's concerns on board.
"I'm satisfied that we've heard enough evidence now that we can design a system to overcome those challenges," he said.
Ah, let the fun and games continue. Lovers VS Haters. All is fair in love and war, and in the Australian gambling and political wars.
10 years, 10 months or 10 weeks for a changeover. Where's my crystal ball? Incoming!
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