In Victoria, problem gamblers are spending less money on pokies, thanks to the state’s new ATM ban. Passed in July 2012, the measure prohibits any gaming venues from operating cash machines, discouraging problem gamblers from spending a great deal of money on poker machines and other type of electronic gaming.
In the year since the measure was passed, there has been a significant decline in the amount of money that players spend at gaming venues. Program gamblers spend $90 less at hotels and $43 less at clubs per visit. Moderate-risk gamblers spend $37 less per hotel visit and $18 less per visit to pokie clubs.
Although players cannot withdraw cash from ATMs, they can still use EFTPOS to fund their gambling spending. While this is a viable option, few players have taken advantage of it.
These results prove that Victoria’s ATM ban is an effective method of curbing problem gambling rates. Compulsive spenders are discouraged from chasing losses, so gambling spending has dropped significantly. Local politicians are quite pleased with these results because the state government is benefitting less from gambling profits generated by problem gamblers.