Australia: NSW to investigate claims regulator tipped off gaming venues

The NSW premier has ordered an investigation.
The NSW premier has ordered an investigation.

It has been claimed that the state’s gaming regulator provided advance notice of compliance checks to pubs and clubs.

Australia.- The premier of New South Wales, Chris Minns, has ordered an investigation into allegations that the state regulator, Liquor and Gambling NSW, may have tipped off pubs and clubs before conducting compliance checks.

The allegations emerged in documents presented in parliament that suggests that the industry body ClubsNSW had sent emails to club owners in February of last year to warn that the regulator was conducting “gambling harm-minimization compliance inspections” across Sydney to inspect the positioning of gaming machines and signage.

Meanwhile, an email exchange between two public servants, which was tabled following inquiries from independent MP Alex Greenwich, asked: “Is there a conflict that we know that [redacted] Club is the largest money laundering club in NSW and we are partnering with them in an anti-gambling initiative?”

Liquor and Gambling NSW has acknowledged that it frequently communicates with industry bodies and venues to provide them with advance information about upcoming random inspections. A spokeswoman for the regulator said that the latter email had been written by a former employee and the opinion expressed was not endorsed by the regulator.

The New South Wales government is trialling a cashless card scheme for gambling and has reduced the number of gaming machines and their limits.

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