On December 7th, 2007, a controversial decision by the NSW government to cut back the state's poker machine limitation has been called a false decision, after it was allegedly claimed that it would not lower the poker machines that are currently in use.
The Gaming Minister of NSW Graham West said that the government would cut back the cap on the machines from 104,000 poker machines to 99,000 poker machines under changes to the Gaming Machines Act. 3,000 more poker machines would be cut back from the current machines over the next 5 years because of the buyback plan, which a single poker machine is given back to the government for every three machines traded.
But opposition gambling spokesperson George Souris commented that the cuts were a fake, because of the current number of poker machines that are being used was just over 97,000. Scaling down on the machine cap would not cause one less poker machines being utilized in the state. He added that the five thousand poker machines that the Iemma government claims that it will cut down have already been traded by clubs over the last decade.
The machine cuts were explained by Mr. West, who said that the gambling machines in forfeiture were just dormant and not being totally taken out circulation. Aside from that, another change that was announced is the ban on cash withdrawals using credit cars from ATM's and EFTPOS facilities in poker machine establishments.
A brand new Local Impact study will also be released to restrict growth in high density gambling locations like Fairfield in Sydney's west, Wollongong and Newcastle. The changes happened after months of pressure on the government and the evidences of the seriousness of gambling on the state, with more than $5 billion being spent to play poker.
Mr. West added that making these different changes, the government can address the community's growing concern regarding gambling addiction. The Australian Hotels Association opposed the changes, saying that it would only cause pubs to lose million of dollars.