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South Australian Government Legislates Ban Against a Number of Redemption Machines

 
South Australian Government Legislates Ban Against a Number of Redemption Machines
South Australian Government Legislates Ban Against a Number of Redemption Machines
The South Australian Government has finally put through legislation that bans certain redemption machines, a move they had been trying to make for several years now. The Lottery and Gaming Variation Regulations 2013 Act will commence operation on January 1st, 2014.

This contentious issue of redemption vs. gaming machines was brought to the forefront of public discussion yet again in 2010 after an article in The Age presented banter for and against the ban.

National Amusement Machine Operators Association's CEO, Terry Williams, made submissions against the proposed legislation to ban certain redemption machines from non-gambling areas in March 2011, but since then, it appeared that the issue had fallen to the sidelines somewhat, until recently.

A month ago, NAMOA members received an urgent message from CEO Terry Williams. This message warned of a complaint made by a concerned citizen against the placement of the machine Road Trip in a children's area of a South Australian hotel. Mr Williams warned this incident could lead to wider repercussions for the industry and operators were warned to heed warnings from distributors about where they place their machines.

These repercussions include the new Lottery and Gaming Variation Regulations 2013 state legislation which prohibits the use of instruments of unlawful gaming. The aim of the legislation is to prevent amusement machines with a physical resemblance to gaming machines from being accessible to children and teenagers.

According to the new legislation, under the Variation of Lottery and Gaming Regulations 2008, section 4A - Instruments of Unlawful Gaming, 'instruments of unlawful gaming' are defined as:

"(1) Pursuant to section 59A of the Act, an amusement machine with the
characteristics of a gaming machine (within the meaning of the
Gaming Machines Act 1992) is declared to be an instrument of
unlawful gaming.

(2) For the purposes of this regulation—
(a) an amusement machine includes any device designed or adapted for the purpose of enabling a person to participate in a game of amusement; and...

(b) an amusement machine will be taken to have the characteristics of a gaming machine if—
(i) it is a gaming machine, but not an approved gaming machine, within the meaning of the Gaming Machines Act 1992; or
(ii) it is capable of being operated by the insertion of a coin, note or other token (whether in the machine or another device to which it is linked) and—
(A) it simulates the operation of a gaming machine by the use or depiction of a spinning reel; or
(B) it is marked as a gaming machine or pokie or is described in any advertising, instructions or packaging as a gaming machine or pokie; or
(C) in the instructions for its operation, or in its operation, it uses or displays a word associated with gambling such as
gambling, bet or jackpot or a derivative of such a word."

At this stage the affected machines include Road Trip, Bike Rally, Big Bass, Big Bass Pro, Dino King, All Aboard and Crank It; this would also include copies of these games or any other redemption machine that features a spinning reel.

Operators in South Australia must ensure these machines are removed from locations by January 1st, while operators in other states are being urged to be vigilant and not place these types of prize redemption machines into any location where they may attract the attention of children, irregardless of whether they will be accompanied or not.

Also, any operators who have imported a suspect machine independently should compare the legislation to the machine. If unsure, NAMOA has offered to view pictures of the machine/s (just take some quick photos and email them to the Association) and they will do their best to advise operators on how to proceed with the machine/s.

In light of the current situation in the U.S., which has resulted in many FEC's and locations having to close their doors, operators are being warned to remain vigilant and keep up-to-date with these developments.
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