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A Bill for an Act to provide a regulatory framework for poker machines that will reduce the harm to problem gamblers, and for related purposes
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Registered 24 Nov 2014
Introduced HR 24 Nov 2014

 

2013-2014

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Gambling Harm Reduction (Protecting Problem Gamblers and Other Measures) Bill 2014

 

No.      , 2014

 

(Mr Wilkie)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to provide a regulatory framework for poker machines that will reduce the harm to problem gamblers, and for related purposes

  

  

  


Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                  1

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

2  Commencement.............................................................................................. 1

3  Object of Act.................................................................................................. 2

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

5  Relationship with State and Territory law...................................................... 2

6  Definitions..................................................................................................... 2

7  Constitutional limitations................................................................................ 3

Part 2—Restrictions on the operation of poker machines                     4

8  Management and utilisation of poker machines.............................................. 4

9  Regulation of parameters of practical operation of poker machines................ 5

10  Variation of parameters of practical operation of poker machines................ 5

Part 3—Implementation of mandatory precommitment capabilities   6

11  Poker machines to be capable of precommitment......................................... 6

12  Mandatory registration process for users..................................................... 6

13  Identification requirements during registration............................................. 7

14  Self exclusion from poker machines—setting a loss limit of $0................... 7

15  Requirements for limit periods..................................................................... 7

16  Changing loss limits and limit periods after initial registration..................... 8

17  When changes to loss limits or limit periods may take effect....................... 9

18  Identification of registered user.................................................................... 9

19  Monitoring and transmitting expenditure and winnings............................. 10

20  Precommitment information for registered user......................................... 11

21  No use of poker machine after loss limit reached....................................... 12

22  Capability requirement for precommitment systems................................... 13

23  Transaction statement for registered user................................................... 13

24  Additional requirements for precommitment systems................................ 14

25  Approving precommitment systems and variations to approved terms and conditions      14

26  Notification of approvals............................................................................ 15

27  Changes to precommitment requirements................................................... 16

28  Revocation of approvals............................................................................. 16

29  Reviewable decisions before the AAT....................................................... 16

Part 4—ATM withdrawal limit for poker machine premises             17

30  ATM withdrawal limit for poker machine premises................................... 17

31  Indexation.................................................................................................. 17

32  Anti‑avoidance—determination of poker machine premises...................... 17

33  Exemptions from the operation of Part 4.................................................... 18

34  Reviewable decisions before the AAT....................................................... 19

Part 5—The Regulator                                                                           20

35  The Regulator............................................................................................. 20

36  Functions of the Regulator......................................................................... 20

37  Powers of the Regulator............................................................................. 20

38  Regulator may charge for services............................................................. 21

39  Arrangements with other agencies............................................................. 21

40  Consultants................................................................................................ 21

41  Minister may give directions to the Regulator............................................ 21

42  Annual report............................................................................................. 21

Part 6—Civil penalties                                                                            23

43  Pecuniary penalties for contravention of civil penalty provisions............... 23

44  Contravening a civil penalty provision is not an offence............................ 24

45  Recovery of a pecuniary penalty................................................................ 24

Part 7—Minimum uniform national standards and national monitoring network        25

46  Uniform national standards and national monitoring network.................... 25

Part 8—Miscellaneous                                                                            26

47  Regulations................................................................................................ 26

 

 


A Bill for an Act to provide a regulatory framework for poker machines that will reduce the harm to problem gamblers, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

Part 1Preliminary

  

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Gambling Harm Reduction (Protecting Problem Gamblers and Other Measures) Bill 2014.

2  Commencement

                   This Act commences the day on which it receives Royal Assent.

3  Object of Act

                   The object of this Act is to reduce the harm caused by problem poker machine gambling, by limiting the rate of poker machine losses that can occur, through the regulation of the parameters of the practical operation of poker machines.

4  Application of Act

                   This Act extends to the external Territories.

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, to the extent that the law is capable of operating concurrently with this Act.

6  Definitions

                   In this Act:

Australia, when used in a geographical sense, includes the external Territories.

automatic teller machine means any device that acts a banking terminal and dispenses cash to users facilitated by inserting a cash or credit card containing the user's account number and PIN on a magnetic stripe including, inter alia, a unit containing cash and cash out facilities operated through EFTPOS machines.

civil penalty provision has the meaning given by subsection 8(6).

corporation means a corporation to which paragraph 51(xx) of the Constitution applies.

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

jackpot, in relation to a poker machine, means the combination of letters, numbers, symbols or representations as part of a game on that machine that pays the maximum winnings payable on that machine for any one combination.

licence means a poker machine licence issued under a law of a State or Territory relating to poker machines.

licensed venue means a venue for which a licence is in force.

linked‑jackpot arrangement means an arrangement under which a single jackpot operates over two or more poker machines.

precommitment means the ability of players to, prior to commencing play, set a limit on the total amount they are prepared to wager for a certain period and, when this limit is reached, the player is unable continue play.

poker machine includes:

                     (a)  gaming machine; and

                     (b)  any machine licensed or required to be licensed for use in a State or Territory as a poker machine or gaming machine.

7  Constitutional limitations

             (1)  A power conferred by this Act must not be exercised in such a way as to:

                     (a)  discriminate between States or parts of States within the meaning of paragraph 51(ii) of the Constitution; or

                     (b)  give preference to one State or any part of a State within the meaning of section 99 of the Constitution.

(2)   A power conferred by this Act must not be exercised in such a way that the exercise would infringe section 92 of the Constitution.

Part 2Restrictions on the operation of poker machines

  

8  Management and utilisation of poker machines

             (1)  A corporation must not, after 31 December 2015, sell or lease, or offer to sell or lease, a poker machine for use in Australia unless the machine is capable of complying with each requirement in section 9 and Part 3.

             (2)  A corporation must not, after 31 December 2019, sell or lease, or offer to sell or lease, a poker machine for use in Australia unless the machine complies with each requirement in section 9 and Part 3.

             (3)  A corporation that operates a licensed venue with more than five (5) poker machines must not, after 31 December 2019, acquire, install, own, operate or lease a poker machine unless the machine complies with each requirement in section 9 and Part 3.

             (4)  A corporation that operates a licensed venue with five (5) or fewer poker machines must not, after 31 December 2021, acquire, install, own, operate or lease a poker machine unless the machine complies with each requirement in section 9 and Part 3.

             (5)  A person must not:

                     (a)  aid, abet, counsel or procure a contravention of subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4); or

                     (b)  induce, whether by threats or promises or otherwise, a contravention of subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4); or

                     (c)  be in any way, directly or indirectly, knowingly concerned in, or party to, a contravention of subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4); or

                     (d)  conspire with others to effect a contravention of subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4).

             (6)  Subsections (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5) are civil penalty provisions and subject to pecuniary penalties provided for in Part 6.

9  Regulation of parameters of practical operation of poker machines

Bank note denomination

             (1)  The poker machine must not accept banknotes of a denomination greater than $20.

Entering credits

             (2)  The poker machine must not be capable of accepting additional credits from a player if the machine stands in credit to the player to the value of $20 or more.

Maximum bet

             (3)  The poker machine must not be capable of allowing a maximum bet in excess of $1 per spin.

Jackpots and linked‑jackpot arrangements

             (4)  The poker machine must not have a jackpot or a linked‑jackpot arrangement greater than $500.

Mandatory precommitment

             (5)  The poker machine must be fitted with an operating a precommitment system (see Part 3) approved under section 25(1).

10  Variation of parameters of practical operation of poker machines

                   The regulations may provide for, or in relation to, the reduction of the amounts set out in subsections 9(1), (2), (3) and (4).

Part 3Implementation of mandatory precommitment capabilities

11  Poker machines to be capable of precommitment

                   All poker machines :

                     (a)  must be fitted with operational precommitment capabilities; and

                     (b)  the precommitment system for the poker machine must comply with the requirements of this Part; and

                     (c)  the precommitment system for the poker machine must be an approved precommitment system in accordance with section 25(1).

12  Mandatory registration process for users

             (1)  A precommitment system for a State or Territory must require a person to register a loss limit for the State or Territory through that system.

             (2)  A precommitment system for a State or Territory must, as part of the registration process, provide the person who registers with a limit period for the State or Territory in accordance with section 15.

Information to be provided on registration

             (3)  A precommitment system for the State or Territory must inform the person who has registered of the following, as part of the registration process:

                     (a)  that the person’s loss limit for the State or Territory applies for the person’s limit period for the State or Territory;

                     (b)  when the person’s first limit period for the State or Territory starts;

                     (c)  that each limit period for the State or Territory starts immediately after the previous limit period ends (unless the system allows a person to change when a person’s limit period starts).

             (4)  The regulations may prescribe requirements relating to the form, frequency, content and position of the information provided for the purposes of subsection (3).

13  Identification requirements during registration

             (1)  A precommitment system for a State or Territory may use a signature or photograph to identify a person who chooses to register through the precommitment system.

             (2)  A precommitment system for a State or Territory must not use biometric processes to identify a person who chooses to register through the precommitment system.

             (3)  The regulations may:

                     (a)  prescribe a manner of identifying a person who chooses to register through a precommitment system for a State or Territory (subject to subsection (2)); and

                     (b)  prohibit a manner of identifying a person who chooses to register through a precommitment system for a State or Territory.

             (4)  A precommitment system for a State or Territory must comply with regulations made for the purposes of subsection (3).

14  Self exclusion from poker machines—setting a loss limit of $0

             (1)  A person may, through a precommitment system for a State or Territory, set a loss limit for the State or Territory of $0 having the effect that the person is unable to place bets on poker machines in that State or Territory.

             (2)  The regulations may prescribe requirements for precommitment systems in relation to persons who set loss limits of $0.

15  Requirements for limit periods

             (1)  A precommitment system for a State or Territory must ensure that a person’s limit period for that State or Territory complies at all times with this section.

Length of limit period

             (2)  Every limit period must be at least 24 hours (including a limit period during which a person makes a change referred to in section 16).

             (3)  A precommitment system for a State or Territory may (but does not have to) allow the person to nominate the length of his or her limit period for the State or Territory (subject to subsection (2)).

             (4)  If a precommitment system for a State or Territory does not allow a person to nominate the length of his or her limit period for the State or Territory, the limit period must be 24 hours.

Starting time for limit periods

             (5)  A person’s first limit period may starts upon registration.

             (6)  A person’s limit period for a State or Territory (other than a person’s first limit period) must start immediately after the previous limit period ends.

16  Changing loss limits and limit periods after initial registration

Loss limits

             (1)  A precommitment system for a State or Territory must require a person who is registered for the State or Territory to do the following:

                     (a)  to set a loss limit for the State or Territory; or

                     (b)  to change the amount of that person’s loss limit for the State or Territory.

Limit periods

             (2)  A precommitment system for a State or Territory that allows a person to nominate the length of his or her limit period for the State or Territory must allow the person to change the length of that limit period (subject to subsection 15(2)).

17  When changes to loss limits or limit periods may take effect

             (1)  This section applies in relation to a person who is registered for a State or Territory.

Loosening limits

             (2)  If any of the following changes are made through a precommitment system for the State or Territory during the person’s limit period for the State or Territory, the precommitment system must prevent the change from taking effect until after the end of the limit period:

                     (a)  an increase in the person’s loss limit for the State or Territory;

                     (b)  a decrease in the length of the person’s limit period for the State or Territory.

Tightening limits

             (3)  If any of the following changes are made through a precommitment system for the State or Territory during the person’s limit period for the State or Territory, the precommitment system must enable the change to take effect as soon as practicable:

                     (a)  a decrease in the person’s loss limit for the State or Territory;

                     (b)  an increase in the person’s limit period for the State or Territory;

18  Identification of registered user

             (1)  A person who uses a poker machine as a registered user that is located in a State or Territory must identify himself or herself to the precommitment system for the poker machine, in accordance with this section, as registered for the State or Territory.

             (2)  The precommitment system must prevent the person from using the poker machine as a registered user unless the person has done so.

Requirements for identification

             (3)  A precommitment system for a State or Territory must not use biometric processes to identify whether a person is registered for the State or Territory.

             (4)  The regulations may:

                     (a)  prescribe a manner of identifying whether a person is registered for a State or Territory (subject to subsection (3)); and

                     (b)  prohibit a manner of identifying a person as registered for a State or Territory.

             (5)  A precommitment system for a State or Territory must comply with regulations made for the purposes of subsection (4).

19  Monitoring and transmitting expenditure and winnings

             (1)  This section applies when a person uses, as a registered user, a poker machine that is located in a State or Territory.

             (2)  The precommitment system for the poker machine must monitor the following:

                     (a)  each amount of money or credit that the person spends using that machine during the person’s session of use as a registered user;

                     (b)  each amount of money or credit that the person wins from that machine during the person’s session of use as a registered user.

             (3)  At the end of the person’s session of use, as a registered user, of the poker machine, the precommitment system for the poker machine must transmit the totals of the amounts referred to in paragraphs (2)(a) and (b) in accordance with the regulations.

             (4)  If the person’s limit period ends before his or her session of use, as a registered user, the totals monitored and recorded under subsection (3) must be transmitted at the end of the person’s session of use in relation to each limit period (or any part of any limit period) that occurs during the person’s session of use.

20  Precommitment information for registered user

             (1)  A precommitment system for a poker machine that is located in a State or Territory must provide information in accordance with this section if a person who is registered for the State or Territory uses the poker machine as a registered user.

Information to be provided on commencement of play

             (2)  At the time the person begins to use the poker machine as a registered user, the precommitment system must inform the person of the following:

                     (a)  the person’s loss limit for the State or Territory;

                     (b)  the person’s limit period for the State or Territory;

                     (c)  the amount that is remaining of the person’s loss limit for the current limit period;

                     (d)  any other information prescribed by the regulations.

             (3)  In addition to the information provided under subsection (2), the precommitment system may also inform the person under this section of the following:

                     (a)  the length of time since the person last set or changed his or her loss limit for the State or Territory;

                     (b)  if the system allows the person to nominate a limit period—the length of time since the person last nominated or changed his or her limit period for the State or Territory.

Information during use

             (4)  If the person uses the poker machine as a registered user for at least the period of time prescribed by the regulations, the precommitment system must inform the person of the following:

                     (a)  the person’s net losses for the State or Territory during his or her current limit period for the State or Territory;

                     (b)  the amount that is remaining of the person’s loss limit for the current limit period;

                     (c)  any other information prescribed by the regulations.

Regulations

             (5)  The regulations may prescribe requirements relating to information provided for the purposes of this section (including, without limitation, in relation to the form, frequency, content and position of such information).

21  No use of poker machine after loss limit reached

Preventing a registered user from continuing to use a poker machine

             (1)  A precommitment system for a poker machine that is located in a State or Territory must prevent a person from continuing to use the poker machine as a registered user if:

                     (a)  the person uses the poker machine as a registered user; and

                     (b)  during the person’s limit period for the State or Territory, the person’s loss limit for the State or Territory is reached (see subsection (3)).

             (2)  The person must be prevented from continuing to use the poker machine as a registered user as soon as the person’s loss limit for the State or Territory is first reached (see subsection (3)).

             (3)  A person’s loss limit for a State or Territory is reached if:

                     (a)  the person makes a bet on a poker machine that is located in the State or Territory; and

                     (b)  after the bet is made, the person’s net losses for the State or Territory during the person’s limit period for the State or Territory equal or exceed the person’s loss limit for the State or Territory.

Preventing a registered user from using a poker machine

             (4)  A precommitment system for a poker machine that is located in a State or Territory must prevent a person from using the poker machine as a registered user if:

                     (a)  during the person’s current limit period for the State or Territory, the person was, under subsection (1), prevented from continuing to use a poker machine that is located in the State or Territory; or

                     (b)  the person has a loss limit of $0 for the State or Territory.

22  Capability requirement for precommitment systems

             (1)  As part of the requirements set out in this Part 3, a precommitment system for a poker machine that is located in a State or Territory must have the capability to prevent a person who is not registered for the State or Territory from using the poker machine and every poker machine in that State or Territory.

             (2)  To avoid doubt a precommitment system must be set up so as to require registration prior to a person being able to place bets, and must be linked to all other poker machines in the State or Territory to require a person to register in that State or Territory before that person can place any bets in the State or Territory.

23  Transaction statement for registered user

             (1)  A precommitment system for a State or Territory must, on request by a person who is registered for the State or Territory, provide the person with the person’s transaction statement in accordance with this section.

             (2)  A person’s transaction statement is a written statement of the following:

                     (a)  the person’s loss limit for the State or Territory;

                     (b)  the length of time since the person last set or changed his or her loss limit;

                     (c)  the amount of money or credit that the person has spent using, and won from, poker machines in the State or Territory that the person has used as a registered user during:

                              (i)  the previous 12 months; and

                             (ii)  the person’s current limit period for the State or Territory;

                     (d)  the number of times during the previous 12 months that the person was prevented under section 21 from using, or continuing to use, a poker machine as a registered user.

             (3)  A person who is provided with a transaction statement must not be charged a fee for the transaction statement.

Regulations

             (4)  The regulations may prescribe requirements in relation to transaction statements.

24  Additional requirements for precommitment systems

                   The regulations may prescribe additional requirements in relation to precommitment systems.

25  Approving precommitment systems and variations to approved terms and conditions

Approving precommitment systems

             (1)  The Regulator may (subject to subsection (2)) approve, in writing, a precommitment system for a State or Territory if the Regulator is satisfied that:

                     (a)  an application has been made to approve the precommitment system for the State or Territory, and any fee prescribed by the regulations has been paid for the application; and

                     (b)  the precommitment system complies with the requirements of Part 3; and

                     (c)  the terms and conditions on which the precommitment system would be provided are reasonable, taking into account the matters prescribed by the regulations.

             (2)  The Regulator may (under subsection (1)) refuse to approve a precommitment system for a State or Territory if the Regulator is satisfied that, despite the precommitment system complying with the requirements of Part 3, the precommitment system includes one or more features that are incompatible with the object of this Act (see section 3). This is a reviewable decision.

             (3)  If the Regulator approves a precommitment system for a State or Territory under subsection (1), the Regulator is taken to have approved the terms and conditions on which the precommitment system would be provided.

Approving variations of approved terms and conditions

             (4)  The Regulator may approve, in writing, a variation to the approved terms and conditions for a precommitment system for a State or Territory if the Regulator is satisfied that those terms and conditions as varied are reasonable, taking into account the matters prescribed by the regulations.

26  Notification of approvals

Giving copies of approvals of precommitment systems

             (1)  As soon as practicable after giving an approval for a precommitment system for a State or Territory under subsection 25(1), the Regulator must give the applicant a copy of the approval.

             (2)  The approval must set out the approved terms and conditions for the precommitment system.

Approving varied terms and conditions

             (3)  If the Regulator approves a variation to the approved terms and conditions for a precommitment system for a State or Territory, the Regulator must vary the approval of the precommitment system to include the variation to the approved terms and conditions.

Length of approvals of precommitment system

             (4)  An approval of a precommitment system for a State or Territory has effect for 10 years (unless it is revoked earlier).

Publishing approvals

             (5)  The Regulator may publish a copy of an approval of a precommitment system for a State or Territory (including an approval as varied under subsection (3)) by any means the Regulator considers appropriate.

27  Changes to precommitment requirements

                   To avoid doubt, a change to regulations made for the purposes of Part 3 of this Chapter applies to any approved precommitment system.

28  Revocation of approvals

             (1)  The Regulator may revoke an approval of a precommitment system for a State or Territory if the Regulator is satisfied that:

                     (a)  the precommitment system does not comply with the requirements of Part 3; or

                     (b)  despite the precommitment system complying with the requirements of Part 3, the precommitment system includes one or more features that are incompatible with the object of this Act (see section 3); or

                     (c)  the precommitment system is being provided on terms and conditions other than the approved terms and conditions.

             (2)  The Regulator must publish a notice revoking an approval of a precommitment system for a State or Territory by any means the Regulator considers appropriate.

29  Reviewable decisions before the AAT

             (1)  Applications may be made (subject to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975) to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for review of decisions made under section 25 and 28.

             (2)  In this section:

decision has the same meaning as in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975.


Part 4ATM withdrawal limit for poker machine premises

30  ATM withdrawal limit for poker machine premises

             (1)  An automatic teller machine that is on poker machine premises must not allow a person to withdraw more than the cash limit.

             (2)  A person withdraws more than the cash limit from an automatic teller machine that is on premises if, after the person withdraws cash from the automatic teller machine, the person has withdrawn, using any one card, more than $250 cash in total in a period of 24 hours from that or any other automatic teller machine that is on the premises.

             (3)  Nothing in this Part 4 is intended to affect a law of a State or Territory that is capable of operating concurrently such as, inter alia, a law that prohibits automatic teller machines from being on poker machine premises.

31  Indexation

             (1)  The regulations may specify:

                     (a)  an index for the purposes of this section; and

                     (b)  the manner of working out an increase in the amount of cash mentioned in subsection 30(2) by reference to the movement of that index over the year ending each 31 December.

             (2)  The amount of cash referred to in subsection 30(2), for a year in which there is an increase in the specified index, is increased in the manner prescribed by the regulations.

32  Anti‑avoidance—determination of poker machine premises

             (1)  The Regulator may make a determination under this section if:

                     (a)  at any time after this Act commences, a person provides an automatic teller machine at a place; and

                     (b)  it would be concluded that the person who provided the automatic teller machine at that place did so for the sole or dominant purpose of enabling a person in receipt of the automatic teller machine to avoid the operation of this Part or Part 3, having regard to the following matters:

                              (i)  the place at which, and the manner in which, the automatic teller machine was provided;

                             (ii)  the time when automatic teller machine began to be provided at that place.

Determination of poker machine premises

             (2)  For the purposes of this Part, and any other provision of this Act to the extent that it relates to this Part, the Regulator may, in writing, determine that the place is, or is part of, poker machine premises.

             (3)  A determination under subsection (2) is not a legislative instrument.

             (4)  For the purposes of subsection (1), it is immaterial whether the person in receipt of the automatic teller machine is the person mentioned in paragraph (1)(a).

33  Exemptions from the operation of Part 4

             (1)  The regulations may prescribe premises which are exempt from the operation of this Part 4.

             (2)  The regulations may also prescribe conditions that must be complied with in order for the premises to be exempt.

             (3)  A person who occupies poker machine premises may apply to the Regulator for the premises to be exempt from the operation of section 30.

             (4)  The Regulator may exempt those premises, in writing, from the operation of that Part if the Regulator is satisfied that compliance with the Part will cause unreasonable inconvenience to members of the community where the premises are located.

             (5)  The Regulator may specify, in the exemption, conditions that must be satisfied in order for the exemption to apply and may, in writing, vary or revoke such conditions.

             (7)  An exemption is not a legislative instrument.

34  Reviewable decisions before the AAT

             (1)  Applications may be made (subject to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975) to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for review of:

                     (a)  decisions made under section 32 and 33; or

                     (b)  reviewable decisions made by the Regulator personally in accordance with subsection 33(3) and (4).

             (2)  In this section:

decision has the same meaning as in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975.


Part 5—The Regulator

35  The Regulator

                   The Regulator is the Secretary of the Department.

36  Functions of the Regulator

                   The Regulator has the following functions:

                     (a)  to administer this Act;

                     (b)  to monitor, promote, investigate and enforce compliance with this Act;

                     (c)  to collect, analyse, interpret and disseminate information about the operation of this Act;

                     (d)  to monitor and evaluate the operation of this Act;

                     (e)  to provide information and advice to:

                              (i)  the Minister; and

                             (ii)  the States and Territories; and

                            (iii)  the public;

                            about the operation of this Act;

                      (f)  to undertake or commission research in relation to the operation of this Act;

                     (g)  to cooperate with the States and Territories, and other relevant persons, in administering this Act;

                     (h)  such other functions as are conferred on the Regulator by this Act or any other law of the Commonwealth.

37  Powers of the Regulator

                   The Regulator has power to do all things necessary or convenient to be done in connection with the performance of the Regulator’s functions.

38  Regulator may charge for services

             (1)  The Regulator may, by legislative instrument, specify fees for services provided by, or on behalf of, the Regulator in the performance of his or her functions.

             (2)  A fee specified under subsection (1) must not be such as to amount to taxation.

39  Arrangements with other agencies

                   The Regulator may make an arrangement with an agency of the Commonwealth, or of a State or a Territory, for the services of officers or employees of the agency to be made available to assist the Regulator in performing his or her functions or duties, or exercising his or her powers.

40  Consultants

                   The Regulator may, on behalf of the Commonwealth, engage consultants to assist in the performance of the Regulator’s functions.

41  Minister may give directions to the Regulator

             (1)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, give a direction to the Regulator in relation to the performance of the Regulator’s functions and the exercise of the Regulator’s powers.

             (2)  However, the Minister must not give a direction in relation to a particular case.

             (3)  The Regulator must comply with a direction given under subsection (1).

42  Annual report

             (1)  The Regulator must prepare and give to the Minister a report on the operation of this Act during each financial year.

             (2)  The Regulator must do so as soon as practicable after the end of each financial year.

             (3)  The report must be included in the Department’s annual report for that financial year.

             (4)  Without limiting subsection (1), a report for a financial year must include information in relation to the following:

                     (a)  any offence against this Act of which a person was convicted during the year, and the penalty imposed on the person;

                     (b)  any civil penalty provision in relation to which a civil penalty order was made against a person during the year, and the amount of any penalty that the person was ordered to pay to the Commonwealth;

                     (c)  any action taken in order to enforce this Act;

                     (d)  any other matter specified by the regulations.


Part 6Civil penalties

43  Pecuniary penalties for contravention of civil penalty provisions

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 of Australia 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 a person has contravened a civil penalty provision, the Court may order the person to pay to the Commonwealth such pecuniary penalty, in respect of each contravention, as the Court determines to be appropriate.

Determining amount of pecuniary penalty

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

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

                     (b)  the nature and extent of any loss or damage suffered as a result of the contravention; and

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

             (4)  In assessing the extent of any loss or damage, the Court may consider the harm that is caused to vulnerable people, to their families and to Australian society by the use of poker machines.

             (5)  The pecuniary penalty payable under subsection (2) is not to exceed:

                     (a)  in the case of two or fewer machines affected by a contravention, 500 penalty units for each poker machine affected by a contravention; or

                     (b)  in the case of three or more machines affected by a contravention, 2,000 penalty units for each poker machine affected by a contravention.

             (6)  A failure to comply with more than one subsection in section 9, Part 3 or 4 constitutes more than one contravention of a civil penalty provision even if that contravention relates to the same conduct.

             (7)  A person who contravenes a civil penalty provision commits a separate contravention of that provision in respect of each day (including a day of the making of a relevant civil penalty order or any subsequent day) during which the contravention continues.

             (8)  A person who contravenes a civil penalty provision commits a separate contravention of that provision in respect of each machine that is affected by the contravention.

             (9)  The pecuniary penalty payable under subsection (2) for such a separate contravention in respect of a particular day must not exceed 10% of the maximum pecuniary penalty that could have been imposed for the contravention if subsection (7) had not been enacted.

44  Contravening a civil penalty provision is not an offence

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

45  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.

Part 7Minimum uniform national standards and national monitoring network

46  Uniform national standards and national monitoring network

             (1)  The Minister must take all reasonable steps to ensure that, in consultation with the Council of Australian Governments and the Ministerial Council on Gambling:

                     (a)  minimum uniform national standards for poker machines are developed that encompass harm minimisation best practice, with particular reference to maximum losses; and

                     (b)  the minimum uniform national standards developed under paragraph (a) are in place and take effect from 1 January 2019; and

                     (c)  a national poker machine monitoring network is established.

             (2)  Consultation in accordance with subsection (1) must commence within 90 days of this Act receiving the Royal Assent.

Part 8Miscellaneous

47  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.