Concerning findings on EFTPOS withdrawals in venues

Released 02/06/2017

In April this year the Minister for Regulatory Services, Gordon Ramsay, requested an investigation into cash withdrawals at gaming venues. A key focus of the audit was to check compliance with ATM restrictions and at the same time the accessibility of EFTPOS facilities were examined.

The report by the Gambling and Racing Commission has identified some troubling findings, Minister Ramsay said today.

“In total Access Canberra attended 46 licensed gaming machine venues, spanning 10 club groups (29 venues) and 17 individual venues.

“In the main, restrictions around ATMs including the mandated withdrawal limits of a maximum of $250 a day per card were being complied with.

“Access Canberra has advised it is investigating two venues for non-compliant ATMs.”

Minister Ramsay said concerns were raised around EFTPOS withdrawals as there is a suggestion that EFTPOS cash withdrawals were being used to circumvent current harm minimisation measures.

This included:

  • A venue which placed the EFTPOS facility beside the ATM
  • Signage advising of EFTPOS facilities
  • EFTPOS withdrawal limits ranging from $1000 a day to unlimited cash out amounts
  • Some instances of minimal staff interaction for EFTPOS transactions

“I think the community will agree that unlimited cash withdrawals through EFTPOS in some gaming venues is disturbing,” Minister Ramsay said.

“While we know there are a small number of individuals experiencing high levels of gambling harm, we know the impact to the individual, their friends, family, colleagues and broader community can be significant.

“I have asked the Gambling and Racing Commission as well as the Justice and Community Safety Directorate to undertake further work in this area and provide me with recommendations around further harm minimisation measures including limiting access to cash in gaming venues.

“It is evident that the Voluntary Code of Practice which had been developed to ensure EFTPOS transactions were not undermining ATM restrictions has not worked.

“We will also continue to ensure our existing harm minimisation reforms in this space are adhered to, including reducing the number of gaming machines in the ACT.

“I would ask all clubs and venues to have a thorough look at what arrangements they have in place when it comes to accessibility to cash and how they are working to support harm minimisation in their venues for our community.

“I look forward to seeing further recommendations in this space and discussing these with my Cabinet colleagues as well as industry.”

- Statement ends -

Section: Gordon Ramsay, MLA | Media Releases

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