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Aussie Gaming Rooms Find Pokie Loophole

22 April 2003

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the (Australian) Daily Telegraph: "Clubs and hotels are already watering down new laws requiring a six-hour daily shutdown of poker machines, using a loophole allowing councils to vary operating hours.

"The Daily Telegraph has learned that at least 14 Sydney clubs and hotels are seeking to reduce their longer mandatory six-hour closure time, due to start on Thursday of next week.

"…Under Section 40 of the Gaming Machines Act 2001, councils have the authority to vary the closure time on weekends and public holidays.

"A Fairfield Council report said the impact of the proposed six-hour pokie closure would be `significant' on some of the area's 43 clubs and pubs - causing job losses, reduced revenue and community contributions

"However, the three-hour shutdown consent is dependant on clubs and pubs achieving `best practice' in responsible gambling management, including problem

"…Last week, Holroyd Council granted 12-month approval for Guildford Leagues Club to reduce its gaming machine shutdown to three hours on weekends and public holidays subject to the club undertaking staff training in harm minimisation…"

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