ClubsNSW proposes new code of practice to tackle gambling-related harm

The Alliance for Gambling Reform deemed the proposal a cynical move.
The Alliance for Gambling Reform deemed the proposal a cynical move.

ClubsNSW proposes that family members be able to ban people who suffer from gambling harm.

Australia.- ClubsNSW, which represents the 1,400 registered clubs in New South Wales, has released a draft Gaming Code of Practice that proposes to allow the families of people suffering from gambling harm to request that they be banned from NSW clubs.

The Code of Practice proposes the creation of an independent panel to determine whether exclusion requests are appropriate. The panel would decide the duration of the ban. The code also proposes that each club be required to appoint a responsible gaming officer.

Staff would be trained to recognise the signs of problem gambling, and clients showing serious signs would receive counselling or could potentially be banned from the club. ClubsNSW said indicators could include seeking credit to gamble, borrowing money from other customers or admitting to stealing money to gamble.

ClubsNSW CEO Josh Landis told ABC: “This new Gaming Code of Practice will ensure all clubs operate to standards which are higher than the legal requirements, giving members, patrons and the broader community greater peace of mind that they can feel safe in their club.”

However, the proposal has been heavily criticised by The Alliance for Gambling Reform’s chief advocate, Tim Costello, who said ClubsNSW Code of Practice is “a cynical move designed to avoid real reform”.

Costello said: “It is too little, too late and it still puts the power in the hands of clubs and its so-called independent panel to determine if someone is impacted by gambling harm.”

See also: NSW to establish new independent casino regulator

The New South Wales Crime Commission (NSWCC) is calling for submissions as part of an inquiry into money laundering via electronic gaming machines (EGMs) at licenced premises. The inquiry, launched last December, is being conducted by the NSWCC in partnership with the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and AUSTRAC.

It seeks information on the following topics:

  • Employment and training of staff in licenced venues with approved EGMs including Responsible Conduct of Gambling training, National Police checks, individual declarations and legislative changes.
  • EGM data and transaction monitoring opportunities to better prevent and detect money laundering in the sector including the potential reduction of credit limits, additional information that could be displayed on gaming machine tickets, legislative requirements relating to payments, enhanced data collection and analytics to assist in the detection of money laundering.

Submissions should be made by July 22.

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