Greens hedge their bets on poker machine legislation
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Greens hedge their bets on poker machine legislation

The Greens are refusing to guarantee support of the federal government's poker machine reform legislation because the plan to trial mandatory precommitment and introduce technology on all new machines is holding back meaningful changes.

The draft legislation means that all new machines from next year must have technology that will allow punters to preset how much they are willing to lose. It also limits ATM withdrawal in gaming venues to $250.

The trial of a system forcing punters to preset a limit to be held in the ACT is not part of the legislation, but a Productivity Commission review of a trial is.

Greens gambling spokesman Richard Di Natale argues that the government's reforms would set poker machine reform back.

''My concern is that because the bill is so weak, and so timid, that in fact what it does is it stops anything happening for the following years because we have a trial under way,'' Senator Di Natale said.

He said the Greens would now talk to the crossbenchers and work on amendments that would guarantee a better outcome for problem gamblers.

''At the end of this process we need to have either mandatory precommitment or $1 bets in place, which is what the original productivity commission recommended.''

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