AU National Gambling Regulator Instructed to Ease Off

AU National Gambling Regulator Instructed to Ease Off with ATM Withdrawal Limit Law

In a move to clear the confusion regarding the implementation of the ATM withdrawal limit law that came into effect this February, Australia's Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews issued a written directive to the National Gambling Regulator (NGR), instructing the latter to ease off with the law's enforcement.

Although the Labor Party succeeded in passing the gambling reform bill that included the ATM withdrawal restriction, there is a pending resolution to repeal the bill. As the Senate will resume session by March, the gambling reform bill is still technically enforceable until such time that the actual revocation becomes official. Such a condition, therefore, created a state of confusion particularly with the matter of imposing the ATM withdrawal limit.

Minister Andrew's instruction is for the NGR to make it their priority to process the more than 3,200 applications of pub and club operators who seek exemption from the ATM law. The operators of approved gambling venues are citing ““unreasonable inconvenience to the community”, as the main premise of their application for exemption.

An official representative of the Social Services office spoke in behalf of the minister, stating that the directive is also aimed at providing the ATM manufacturers with information on how the withdrawal restrictions will be administered. The assessment is that the law imposes “excessive compliance costs on the ATM industry” and the Australian Coalition Government vows to remove such burden when the country's Senate resumes sessions in March.

However, Independent Senator Nick Xenophon calls the Coalition Government's recent action as one that “shows brazen contempt for the parliamentary process”, and warns of embarking on a possible legal challenge in order to enforce the ATM withdrawal restriction.