The Northern Territory government will permit additional gaming machines to be installed in Alice Springs’ pubs and clubs while announcing a modest lowering of the cap on pokies in the NT.
There had been widespread community backlash since hospitality giant Iris Capital put in applications for 60 additional machines in its Alice Springs businesses last year, leading the NT government to order a moratorium on approving new pokies for the town’s community venues.
On Tuesday, the NT government lowered the cap to 1,659, down from 1699, bringing an end to the nine-month moratorium.
It means 20 additional licences can still be granted under the new cap.
Iris Capital has now withdrawn applications for 40 machines across two of its venues, according to the government, but applications for 20 additional machines at the Todd Tavern and Gap View Hotel “remain in train”.
Government ‘aware’ of problem gambling
Speaking to ABC Radio Alice Springs, Gaming Minister Chansey Paech said the government was aware of the significant harms caused by problem gambling.
“The government heard loudly and clearly the community sentiment around the community wanting no new machines in new venues,” he said.
“There will certainly be, under a Territory Labor government, less and less, not more and more, pokies across the Territory.”
The announcement marks the third reduction to the cap since Labor returned to power in the Northern Territory in 2016.