More time on pokie upgrade

WESTERN Sydney clubs have been given more time to upgrade poker machines with technology designed to stop problem gambling under new laws.

The legislation will require poker machines to be equipped with pre-commitment technology by 2018.

The technology allows users to set a limit on the amount of money they want to gamble within a time period.

There will be a $250 withdrawal limit at club ATMs to be implemented by 2014.

The bill initially set a deadline of 2016 for clubs to install the technology however it was amended to 2018.

Clubs NSW welcomed the amendment and said in a media release that it will "provide clubs with an additional two years to install the required technology on their poker machines".

They predicted that the law would cost clubs in the Chifley electorate about $18.8 million, while those in Lindsay would spend $33.6 million.

St Marys RSL Club manager Robert Young said that upgrading machines would be costly.

"We'll be looking at a couple of million dollars easily and outlay costs, which is money we haven't got," he said.

Mr Young said his club already had support services, including self-exclusion programs and information on gambling addiction. St Marys Rugby League Club CEO Rod Desborough said there was industry-wide confusion about how the new system would be implemented.

"We do support the technology but be fair and reasonable about how it's done and the time frames," he said.

Mr Desborough said the ATM withdrawal limits could cause safety problems as club members would have to use street ATMs late at night.

"I think that's ridiculous —- I have a real issue with the government telling me how much of my own money I can access, this is Big Brother stuff," he said.

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