Connect with us

News

‘No pokies’ Nick Xenophon goes for ‘some pokies’, but does his gambling policy go far enough?

Published

on

‘No pokies’ Xenophon goes for ‘some pokies’, but does his gambling policy go far enough?Reading Time: 3 minutes

SA-Best, led by high-profile former senator Nick Xenophon, has announced its gambling policy ahead of next month’s South Australian election. Xenophon has backed away from the “no pokies” policy that characterised his earlier approach to gambling reform. However, the evidence behind his party’s proposed suite of measures is reasonably strong.

What’s in the policy?

Key aspects of SA-Best’s proposal are:

a five-year plan to cut poker machines numbers in South Australia from 12,100 to 8,100;

  • a reduction in maximum bets to A$1, from the current $5;
  • a reduction in maximum prizes from $10,000 to $500;
  • removing particularly addictive features such as “losses disguised as wins”;
  • prohibition of political donations from gambling businesses; and
  • the removal of EFTPOS facilities from gambling venues.

The policy would also empower the state’s Independent Gambling Authority to implement and evaluate these proposals.

The policy is targeted at commercial hotel operators; clubs, “community hotels” and the casino are exempt from the reduction provisions.

There are also proposals to cut trading hours from 18 to 16 per day, with the introduction of a seven-year pokie licence for venues, from January 1, 2019. Increased resources would go to counselling and support for those with gambling problems.

Notably absent from the policy is the introduction of a pre-commitmentsystem, which would enable pokie users to decide in advance how much they want to spend. Along with $1 maximum bets, this was a key recommendation of a Productivity Commission inquiry in 2010.

The policy has attracted the expected response from the gambling industry. The Australian Hotels Association argued the changes would “rip the guts” out of the gambling industry and attack the “26,000 jobs” it claims the industry directly creates.

Does evidence support SA Best’s policies?

We’ve known for some time that reducing maximum bets is likely to reduce the amount wagered by people experiencing severe gambling problems. This in turn reduces the harm they suffer.

Reducing maximum prizes reduces “volatility”, meaning pokies may have more consistent loss rates.

Reducing access to pokies is also an important intervention, since easy access is a key risk factor for developing a gambling problem. Reducing the number of machines, and the hours they are accessible, support this.

However, very substantial cuts in pokie numbers are needed to meaningfully reduce harm. A cut of the magnitude SA-Best proposes may not be sufficient to prevent those with serious gambling habits from readily accessing pokies. This is because pokies are rarely fully utilised at all times of the week.

Removing easy access to cash has also been identified as an important harm-reduction intervention. This had a positive initial effect in Victoria (especially among high-risk gamblers), when ATMs were removed from pokie venues in 2012.

The harms associated with gambling generally affect far more peoplethan just the gambler. The most recent study, from 2012 indicates that 0.6% of the SA adult population is classified as at high risk of gambling harm, 2.5% are classified as at moderate risk, and another 7.1% at low risk.

Based on census data, this equates to about 8,000 South Australians experiencing severe harm from gambling. Another 33,100 are experiencing significant harm, and about 94,000 are experiencing some harm.

However, each high-risk gambler affects six others; each moderate-risk gambler affects three others; and each low-risk gambler one other. So, the problems of each high-risk gambler affect another 47,660 South Australians. These are children, spouses, other relatives, friends, employers, the general community via the costs of crime, and so on.

Another 99,300 are affected by moderate-risk gambling, and another 94,000 by low-risk gambling. All up, this amounts to 241,000 people.

Of these, 190,000 are affected at high or significant levels. These harms include financial disaster and bankruptcy, divorce or separation, neglect of children, intimate partner violence and other violent crime, crimes against property, mental and physical ill-health, and in some cases, suicide.

Most gambling problems (around 75%) are related to pokies, and by far the greatest expenditure goes through them. Nothing has changed in this regard since the Productivity Commission identified this in 2010.

In this context, SA-Best’s policy has substantial justification.

Does it go far enough?

The South Australian Greens, like their counterparts in Tasmania and the Tasmanian Labor Party, want to get all pokies out of pubs and clubs. They argue gambling’s social and economic costs are far in excess of the benefits.

For Tasmania, the costs of gambling can be estimated at about $342 million per year. This is more than three times as much as the total tax take from all gambling in the state.

A similar calculation for South Australia suggests its overall costs of problem gambling are more than $1.6 billion per year. This is more than four times the total taxes from gambling the South Australian government derived in 2015-16 ($380.3 million).

With a cost-benefit ratio like that, some strong measures could well be called for. Xenophon says the proposals encapsulated in his party’s policy are the start. However, Tasmanian Labor has set the new benchmark for pokie regulation – removing them entirely from pubs and clubs.

It is remarkable that a party traditionally in lockstep with – and substantially supported by – the gambling industry has adopted such a position. Perhaps the harms have become too much to ignore?

How these policies might be implemented, amid the resistance they will face from a well-heeled and often-influential gambling industry, presents an intriguing prospect over coming months.

 

Source: theconversation.com


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

News

Kinguin Launches API Giving Merchants Access to Inventory and Award Winning Customer Support

Published

on

Kinguin Launches API Giving Merchants Access to Inventory and Award Winning Customer SupportReading Time: 2 minutes

 

Kinguin, one of the world’s leading online retailers in the video and PC game industry today announced the launch of the Kinguin application programming interface (API) for e-commerce. The newly released API is free to qualified online retailers and makes it easy to list, price, and sell thousands of video games while using Kinguin’s award-winning Customer Support and automated order-processing.

With the Kinguin e-commerce API, retailers gain access to a virtually endless supply of CD keys via Kinguin’s robust video and PC game catalog, eliminating traditional online store needs of inventory management and control, while offering larger, more diverse selections of products. Retailers can immediately add up to 15,000 games with customizable attributes such as pricing, descriptions and more to their existing store offerings.

Customers pay the participating store directly as normal, then, without any middlemen or delays, orders are automatically processed by Kinguin. Game keys are immediately dispatched once an automated purchase information has been received. Problems regarding game keys or transactions will be handled completely, professionally and immediately via Kinguin’s award-winning customer service channels – simplifying the purchasing experience for merchants and gamers.

“The mission of the Kinguin API for e-commerce is to make it easier for any e-commerce store to distribute virtual products. In this way, businesses can take advantage of the large volume of products available at Kinguin.net quickly, easily, and profitably,” says Kamil Grabowski, Project Manager behind Kinguin’s API for e-commerce. “Our goal is to satisfy the gaming community, both players and merchants, and with this API, it’s going to be easier than ever.”

To apply for the Kinguin API e-commerce solution, please apply here.

About Kinguin:
Founded in 2013, Kinguin has fast become the largest alternative marketplace to Steam, Origin, and Battle.net, with more than 7 million loyal customers globally. Kinguin’s mission is to create an ecosystem built for the gamer. To achieve this, Kinguin provides easy and secure access to games, innovative ways for gamers to trade and conduct commerce, and new ways for developers to reach customers directly. Kinguin is also involved with esports, esports venues, and esports centers of excellence worldwide. Visit https://www.kinguin.net and https://www.kinguin.io for more information.


Source: European Gaming Media

Continue Reading

News

Leap Gaming launches Instant Football

Published

on

Leap Gaming launches Instant FootballReading Time: 1 minute

 

Leap Gaming, a developer of 3D multi-platform casino and gaming solutions, has launched its latest game, titled Instant Football.

It provides an on-demand football experience through both desktop and mobile devices. Its hallmarks are realistic animated action and fast-paced betting options.

The interface is characteristically simple and intuitive. It features 16 teams. Its other features include the option to browse between games, on-demand activation of games and the ability to skip scenes and matches for faster betting.

Instant Football offers a broad range of betting markets, including home and away teams, and Rebet and Rebet*2 on the same teams – all of which are available 24/7.

Video footage has been created using motion capture technology to record professional players and scans of real stadiums, and is voiced with professional commentary.

The game also offers a range of customisable options, including the UI and UX, languages (the game automatically adjusts to location), currency and betting limits.

It is available directly through Leap Gaming, or via 1X2 Network, SG Digital and other selected platforms.

Yariv Lissauer, CEO of Leap Gaming, said: “Instant Football is one of our most complete game to date, and combines stunning graphics with professional commentary with a wide range of betting options to deliver a truly world-class player experience.

“Virtuals are becoming increasingly popular as players demand round the clock access to sports events and games, and we can certainly deliver this via titles such as Instant Football.”

 

Source: interGameOnline


Source: European Gaming Media

Continue Reading

News

NOVOMATIC Lottery Solutions wins Norsk Tipping’s competition

Published

on

NOVOMATIC Lottery Solutions wins Norsk Tipping’s competitionReading Time: 1 minute

 

NOVOMATIC Lottery Solutions (NLS), a full-service lottery provider based in Austria, has won a mini competition conducted by Norsk Tipping to find a suitable supplier of the digital version of the lottery’s most popular scratch game “Million Flax”.

“Million Flax” is one of the core products in Norsk Tipping’s portfolio of physical scratch games and it has won a great brand recognition since its launch in 1995. NLS offered not only a smooth transition of all elements from the physical ticket to its digital version but also proposed attractive and playful animations that can further enhance players’ retention.

“We are very happy that once again our offering has proven to be the best fit for Norsk Tipping’s sophisticated online games portfolio. It was a competitive bid and the fact that we won based on quality is another validation of NLS’ innovative approach to the eInstant game category” – explained Pall Palsson, Director of Product Management at NLS.

This win comes as part of the contract that NLS inked with Norsk Tipping in March 2017, following a competitive tender procedure. Under the terms of the contract, NLS supports the growth and diversity of lottery’s e-Instant portfolio and provides business development expertise in the area of interactive games.


Source: European Gaming Media

Continue Reading

Trending

%d bloggers like this: