New responsible gambling measures introduced in New South Wales

New responsible gambling measures introduced in New South Wales

New regulations mandate responsible gambling officers in pubs and clubs with gaming machines.

Australia.- A new rule that requires pubs and clubs in New South Wales with more than 20 gaming machines to have a responsible gambling officer (RGO) on duty while machines are in operation entered into force on Monday (July 1). Clubs with more than 100 gaming machines entitlements will need additional RGOs.

RGOs are tasked with identifying and assisting patrons who exhibit signs of problematic gambling behaviour. They will also facilitate self-exclusion requests and provide referrals to support services. Venues are responsible for selecting and training appropriate staff.

The updated regulations prohibit licensed venues from displaying any signage or advertising related to gaming machines on or visible from ATMs or EFTPOS terminals. They must not use any directional signs for cash machines if they are visible from gaming areas. Venues have been granted a one-month grace period to adhere to the signage rules before enforcement begins in August.

From January 1, 2025, further changes will take effect, requiring all ATMs to be positioned at least five metres from the entrance to any gaming room or area where gaming machines are located. They must not be visible from gaming rooms or machines.

Inspectors from Liquor & Gaming NSW have started visiting venues to ensure awareness and compliance with the new obligations. Other reforms include reducing the cash input limit for new electronic gaming machines, capping the number of gaming machine entitlements and banning political donations from gaming-involved clubs. 

Minister for Gaming & Racing, David Harris stated: “We know that gaming machines represent the most serious risk of gambling harm, impacting individuals and their loved ones. The NSW Government is committed to implementing gambling reform to reduce these harms, including this introduction of Responsible Gambling Officers in pubs and clubs, and changes to the placement and visibility of ATMs in venues.

“Responsible Gambling Officers will work to identify those patrons most at risk, or who are already experiencing gambling harm, check on their wellbeing and help refer them to support services if required. Having cash dispensing facilities further away from gaming machines encourages a clean break in play for patrons who may be losing track of what they are spending.

“We’ll be monitoring compliance in these areas closely to see if we need to look at strengthening harm minimisation laws even further.”

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