Club executives will roll the dice on the Gillard government's watered down poker machine reforms today as they meet to consider a trial of mandatory pre-commitment technology in Canberra.
Clubs ACT will weigh up whether they will resist the trial, which is slated to begin in February 2013.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard last month reneged on her deal with anti-pokies crusader, independent Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie, after she secured an extra vote in the lower house, courtesy of the Peter Slipper Speaker deal.
In exchange for his support of Labor in a minority government, Mr Wilkie secured a written guarantee from Ms Gillard in 2010 that she would pass legislation to tackle problem gambling by 2014.
But after facing a backlash from her backbench and the threat of a damaging advertising campaign by the clubs lobby, Ms Gillard instead opted to run a trial of the technology. This move has delayed any national roll-out until 2016.
Pre-commitment technology requires people to set limits on the amount of money they are willing to lose on high-betting machines, which can lead to losses of up to $1200 an hour.
To sweeten the deal, which would mean the ACT would have the only poker machines in the country with the technology, Ms Gillard has promised $37.1 million in compensation for lost earnings to ACT clubs. The funds will also cover the cost of installing mandatory pre-commitment technology on poker machines and boost counselling funding.
Clubs ACT boss Jeff House said today's meeting was to identify issues and concerns to take to further negotiations with the federal government.
He predicted a positive outcome for the government, which has been largely battered by the pokie reform debate.
"The discussions with the federal government have been conducted in good faith and this will not change," Mr House said.