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A Bill for an Act to protect problem gamblers by reducing bet limits to $1 per spin and load up limits to $20, and for related purposes
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Registered 27 Oct 2009
Introduced Senate 27 Oct 2009

 

2008‑2009

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protecting Problem Gamblers Bill 2009

 

No.      , 2009

 

(Senator Fielding)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to protect problem gamblers by reducing bet limits to $1 per spin and load up limits to $20, and for related purposes

  

  

  


Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                               1

1............ Short title............................................................................................ 1

2............ Commencement.................................................................................. 2

3............ Objects of Act.................................................................................... 2

4............ Application of Act............................................................................. 2

5............ Relationship with State and Territory law......................................... 3

6............ Definitions.......................................................................................... 3

7............ Meaning of play.................................................................................. 5

Part 2—Technical requirements on corporations that manufacture or supply gaming machines and poker machines                                                                                                                   6

8............ Application......................................................................................... 6

9............ Maximum credit that may be entered................................................. 6

10.......... Limit on when credits may be entered................................................ 7

11.......... Maximum bet per spin....................................................................... 7

Part 3—Civil penalties                                                                                                         9

Division A—Obtaining an order for a civil penalty                                       9

12.......... Federal Court may order person to pay pecuniary penalty for contravening civil penalty provision    9

13.......... What is a civil penalty provision?..................................................... 10

14.......... Contravening a civil penalty provision is not an offence................. 10

15.......... Persons involved in contravening civil penalty provision................ 10

16.......... Recovery of a pecuniary penalty..................................................... 10

Division B—Enforceable undertakings relating to contraventions of civil penalty provisions 11

17.......... Acceptance of undertakings relating to contraventions of civil penalty provisions                11

18.......... Enforcement of undertakings............................................................ 11

Part 4—Miscellaneous                                                                                                       12

18.......... Regulations....................................................................................... 12

 


A Bill for an Act to protect problem gamblers by reducing bet limits to $1 per spin and load up limits to $20, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

Part 1—Preliminary

 

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Protecting Problem Gamblers Act 2009.

2  Commencement

                   This Act commences at the end of 6 months after the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

3  Objects of Act

                   The object of this Act is to protect problem gamblers by reducing bet limits to $1 per spin and load up limits to $20.

4  Application of Act

Extension to external Territories

             (1)  This Act extends to Norfolk Island, the Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands and the Territory of Christmas Island.

Limited extraterritorial application

             (2)  This Act applies to acts, omissions, matters and things in the Australian jurisdiction, and subject to subsection (3), does not apply to acts, omissions, matters and things outside the Australian jurisdiction.

Application outside exclusive economic zone limited to Australian vessels

             (3)  A provision of this Act that has effect outside the outer limits of the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf applies only in relation to Australian vessels.

Application to vessels in the Australian jurisdiction inside exclusive economic zone

             (4)  A provision of this Act that has effect within the outer limits of the exclusive economic zone (whether in the zone or in Australia or an external Territory) or on or in the continental shelf applies in relation to all vessels (including vessels that are not Australian vessels).

Note:          A reference to Australia or to an external Territory generally includes a reference to the coastal sea of Australia or the Territory (as appropriate). See section 15B of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

5  Relationship with State and Territory law

                   This Act is not intended to exclude or limit the concurrent operation of any law of a State or Territory, unless the contrary intention appears.

6  Definitions

                   In this Act:

accumulated credits means the credits registered on any single poker machine to the benefit of a player, whether credited to the machine by a player entering credits or accumulated through playing the machine.

Australian jurisdiction means the land, waters, seabed and airspace in, under or above:

                     (a)  Australia; or

                     (b)  an external Territory; or

                     (c)  the exclusive economic zone; or

                     (d)  the continental shelf.

Note:          A reference to Australia or to an external Territory generally includes a reference to the coastal sea of Australia or the Territory (as appropriate). See section 15B of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

Australian vessel means:

                     (a)  a vessel that is owned, possessed or controlled by:

                              (i)  the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth agency; or

                             (ii)  a State, a self‑governing Territory or an agency of a State or self‑governing Territory; or

                     (b)  a vessel that is registered in Australia; or

                     (c)  a vessel that is flying the Australian flag.

corporation means a body corporate that:

                     (a)  is a foreign corporation; or

                     (b)  is a trading corporation formed within the limits of Australia or is a financial corporation so formed; or

                     (c)  is incorporated in a Territory; or

                     (d)  is the holding company of a body corporate of a kind referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

entering credits: a player enters credits into a poker machine by:

                     (a)  inserting coins or bank notes;

                     (b)  inserting a token, voucher or ticket that represents an amount of money or has been purchased for an amount of money;

                     (c)  undertaking an electronic transfer of an amount of money;

into the machine, or other equipment linked to the machine, to increase the amount or value of accumulated credits.

executive officer of a body corporate means a person who is concerned in, or takes part in, the management of the body corporate.

game, in relation to a gaming machine or a poker machine, means a play, or a series of plays, initiated by the application of a monetary credit registered on the machine.

gaming machine has the same meaning as poker machine.

play has the meaning given by section 7.

poker machine means a machine:

                     (a)  designed for playing a game of chance, or of mixed chance and skill; and

                     (b)  designed to be played completely or partly by:

                              (i)  the insertion of one or more coins, notes or tokens; or

                             (ii)  the application of a monetary credit registered on the machine or elsewhere; and

                     (c)  that offers, or that appears to offer, people a chance to win monetary or other valuable consideration by playing the machine.

spin means a sequence of actions and states in a gaming machine or a poker machine initiated by a player through wagering a single credit and terminated when the credit wagered has been lost or all winnings have been transferred to the total wins meter of the gaming machine or poker machine and the player’s credit meter.

total wins meter means a device for recording amounts that, if won by a player, would be credited to the credit meter of the player’s gaming machine or poker machine.

7  Meaning of play

                   For the purposes of this Act, a person is taken to play a gaming machine or a poker machine if the person, directly or indirectly:

                     (a)  inserts a coin, note, gaming token or smart card into the machine; or

                     (b)  causes gaming machine credits to be registered by the machine; or

                     (c)  makes a bet on the machine; or

                     (d)  causes the activation of any process relating to the game of the machine; or

                     (e)  makes or participates in the making of the decisions involved in playing the machine.


 

Part 2Technical requirements on corporations that manufacture or supply gaming machines and poker machines

  

8  Application

                   This Part applies to:

                     (a)  any corporation that manufactures gaming machines or poker machines for use in the Australian jurisdiction, an external Territory, on an Australian vessel or on a vessel that is not an Australian vessel but which navigates in the Australian jurisdiction; and

                     (b)  any corporation that sells, offers or exposes for sale or supplies gaming machines or poker machines for use in the Australian jurisdiction, an external Territory, on an Australian vessel or on a vessel that is not an Australian vessel but which navigates in the Australian jurisdiction, whether those machines are manufactured within the Australian jurisdiction or not.

9  Maximum credit that may be entered

             (1)  A corporation must not manufacture a gaming machine or a poker machine that allows a player to enter:

                     (a)  a banknote with a denomination greater than $20; or

                     (b)  a credit of an amount greater than $20 by any other means in a single transaction.

Maximum civil penalty:       2,000 penalty units.

Note:          penalty unit has the meaning given by section 4AA of the Crimes Act 1914.

             (2)  A corporation must not sell, offer or expose for sale or supply a gaming machine or a poker machine that allows a player to enter:

                     (a)  a banknote with a denomination greater than $20; or

                     (b)  a credit of an amount greater than $20 by any other means in a single transaction.

Maximum civil penalty:       2,000 penalty units.

Note:          penalty unit has the meaning given by section 4AA of the Crimes Act 1914.

10  Limit on when credits may be entered

             (1)  A corporation must not manufacture a gaming machine or a poker machine that allows a player to enter credits into the machine if the amount or value of accumulated credits in the machine is greater than $20.

Maximum civil penalty:       2,000 penalty units.

Note:          penalty unit has the meaning given by section 4AA of the Crimes Act 1914.

             (2)  A corporation must not sell, offer or expose for sale or supply a gaming machine or a poker machine that allows a player to enter credits into the machine if the amount or value of accumulated credits in the machine is greater than $20.

Maximum civil penalty:       2,000 penalty units.

Note:          penalty unit has the meaning given by section 4AA of the Crimes Act 1914.

             (3)  This section does not apply in relation to credits accumulated on a gaming machine or a poker machine through the player playing that machine.

11  Maximum bet per spin

             (1)  A corporation must not manufacture a gaming machine or a poker machine that enables a maximum bet greater than $1 per spin.

Maximum civil penalty:       2,000 penalty units.

Note:          penalty unit has the meaning given by section 4AA of the Crimes Act 1914.

             (2)  A corporation must not sell, offer or expose for sale or supply a gaming machine or a poker machine that enables a maximum bet greater than $1 per spin.

Maximum civil penalty:       2,000 penalty units.

Note:          penalty unit has the meaning given by section 4AA of the Crimes Act 1914.

Part 3Civil penalties

Division AObtaining an order for a civil penalty

12  Federal Court may order person to pay pecuniary penalty for contravening civil penalty provision

Application for order

             (1)  Within 6 years of a person (the wrongdoer) contravening a civil penalty provision, the Minister may apply on behalf of the Commonwealth to the Federal Court for an order that the wrongdoer pay the Commonwealth a pecuniary penalty.

Court may order wrongdoer to pay pecuniary penalty

             (2)  If the Court is satisfied that the wrongdoer has contravened a civil penalty provision, the Court may order the wrongdoer to pay to the Commonwealth for each contravention the pecuniary penalty that the Court determines is appropriate (but not more than the relevant amount specified for the provision).

Determining amount of pecuniary penalty

             (3)  In determining the pecuniary penalty, the Court must have regard to all relevant matters, including:

                     (a)  the nature and extent of the contravention; and

                     (b)  the circumstances in which the contravention took place; and

                     (c)  whether the person has previously been found by the Court in proceedings under this Act to have engaged in any similar conduct.

Conduct contravening more than one civil penalty provision

             (4)  If conduct constitutes a contravention of two or more civil penalty provisions, proceedings may be instituted under this Act against a person in relation to the contravention of any one or more of those provisions. However, the person is not liable to more than one pecuniary penalty under this section in respect of the same conduct.

13  What is a civil penalty provision?

                   A subsection of this Act (or a section of this Act that is not divided into subsections) is a civil penalty provision if the words “civil penalty” and an amount in penalty units is set out at the foot of the subsection (or section).

14  Contravening a civil penalty provision is not an offence

                   A contravention of a civil penalty provision is not an offence.

15  Persons involved in contravening civil penalty provision

             (1)  A person must not:

                     (a)  aid, abet, counsel or procure a contravention of a civil penalty provision; or

                     (b)  induce (by threats, promises or otherwise) a contravention of a civil penalty provision; or

                     (c)  be in any way directly or indirectly knowingly concerned in, or party to, a contravention of a civil penalty provision; or

                     (d)  conspire to contravene a civil penalty provision.

             (2)  This Division applies to a person who contravenes subsection (1) in relation to a civil penalty provision as if the person had contravened the provision.

16  Recovery of a pecuniary penalty

                   If the Federal Court orders a person to pay a pecuniary penalty:

                     (a)  the penalty is payable to the Commonwealth; and

                     (b)  the Commonwealth may enforce the order as if it were a judgment of the Court.

Division BEnforceable undertakings relating to contraventions of civil penalty provisions

17  Acceptance of undertakings relating to contraventions of civil penalty provisions

             (1)  This section applies if the Minister considers that an action taken by a body corporate after the commencement of this section contravened one or more civil penalty provisions of Part 2.

             (2)  The Minister may accept a written undertaking given by an executive officer on behalf of the body corporate in relation to the action, in which the body corporate:

                     (a)  undertakes to pay a specified amount, within a specified period to the Commonwealth; or

                     (b)  any other undertaking in connection with that contravention.

             (3)  The executive officer on behalf of the body corporate may withdraw or vary the undertaking at any time, but only with the consent of the Minister.

18  Enforcement of undertakings

             (1)  If the Minister considers that an executive officer who gave an undertaking under section 17 or the body corporate on behalf of which an undertaking was given under section 17 has breached any of its terms, the Minister may apply to the Federal Court for an order under subsection (2).

             (2)  If the Federal Court is satisfied that the executive officer or the body corporate has breached a term of the undertaking, the Court may make one or more of the following orders:

                     (a)  an order directing the executive officer or the body corporate to comply with that term of the undertaking;

                     (b)  any other order that the Court considers appropriate.

Part 4—Miscellaneous

18  Regulations

                   The Governor‑General may make regulations prescribing matters:

                     (a)  required or permitted by this Act to be prescribed; or

                     (b)  necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act.