Australia: NSW to analyse impact of 2018 gaming machine reforms

The NSW government capped machine numbers in high-risk communities in 2018.
The NSW government capped machine numbers in high-risk communities in 2018.

Authorities in New South Wales have announced they are seeking community feedback on the impact of the 2018 reforms that limited the number of gaming machines in the state.

Australia.- The New South Wales Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority’s (ILGA) will analyse the impact of the gaming machine reforms introduced in 2018. It has called on the public and interested stakeholders to give their views to help shape future policy directions. 

Regulatory reforms introduced in 2018 limited the number of gaming machines allowed in high-risk areas, introduced tools to reduce the harm of gambling, and made comprehensive reforms to the local impact assessment plan that regulates so-called ‘pokies’.

The reform also introduced a scheme for small clubs and hotels to lease their Gaming Machine Entitlements to other clubs and hotels, allowing them to go “pokies-free” while staying economically viable.   

The consultation will close on Friday September 10, 2021.

The New South Wales government is currently analysing a proposal to transfer licences from poor-performing machines in other areas of the state to the Star Sydney. There are currently 96,000 poker machines across 4,000 venues in New South Wales. Star has 1,500 in its venue in Prymont.

John Tansey, Executive Director Policy & Strategy for Better Regulation Division, said: “The NSW Government is keen to hear from the community, so we are conducting a survey to help inform our evaluation. We will also be inviting venue operators with GMEs to complete a separate online survey.

NSW to test digital gaming wallets during last quarter

Authorities expect to launch their first trial of highly anticipated digital gaming wallets by the end of the year. Tests will take place in the final quarter at Wests Group Australia’s New Lambton venue, in Newcastle.

The government thinks digital gaming wallets could help people with gambling problems and prevent money laundering crimes. Players will have to obtain a prepaid gambling card to gamble.

Australia’s gaming industry has started to move in the direction of cashless gaming after the New South Wales Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority’s (ILGA) inquiry into Crown Resorts found the operator to be unsuitable to hold a licence for its new casino in Barangaroo.

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