Pokies payment reforms could save NSW pubs and clubs $40m
Proposed changes to the way NSW pubs and clubs pay poker machine fees could see the industry save $40 million over the course of the next licence period.
According to SMH, deputy premier Troy Grant has pledged to change the indexation of a monthly fee paid by most pubs and clubs that operate poker machines.
Poker machine operators are currently required to (there are some exemptions) pay a monthly fee to the Centralised Monitoring System (CMS) operator, which ensures the integrity of the machines and that the right amount of tax is being paid to the state government.
The fee is approximately $42 a month plus GST per machine and since its introduction in 2001 has increased by a flat three percent per year.
Grant is now proposing to change the indexation to the Consumer Price Index from November 2016, when the existing 15 year exclusive licence held by Maxgaming Pty Ltd expires on November 30 next year.
SMH reports that based on the Reserve Bank of Australia’s 2.5 percent target rate, this could mean a saving of $40 million for venues over the next licence period.
A bill introduced by Grant, currently being considered by the upper house, also removes the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal's role in setting the monthly CMS fee, instead allowing Grant and the NSW Treasurer to determine the fee.