NSW extends consultation on pokies bill

The bill proposes to allow relatives to exclude those affected by gambling-related harm.
The bill proposes to allow relatives to exclude those affected by gambling-related harm.

The state regulator aims to find an “industry-led solution” that considers the scale and risk profile of each of its 3,000 pubs and clubs.  

Australia.- The New South Wales Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) has extended the public consultation on its pokies amendment bill until December 11.  

Consultation on the draft Gaming Machines Amendment Bill 2020 began in late September and was originally due to close on October 30.  

The state’s minister for customer service, Victor Dominello, said that there has been “significant interest in the reforms from across the community” and that the extension will allow further participation 

Dominello said: “There is substantial agreement on the objective of enhancing the current self-exclusion scheme and reducing problem gambling in gaming machine venues.

“The extension of public consultation provides a further opportunity for us to work with pubs and clubs and other stakeholders to find solutions.” 

He said the regulator aimed to find an “industry-led solution” that considers the different scale and risk profile of each of the 3,000 pubs and clubs that operate pokies.  

The bill intends to help hotels and clubs provide the necessary support to gaming machine players, not only when someone specifically asks for help. 

Dominello said: “Clubs and hotels would need to actively identify and assist gaming machine players who display problematic gambling behaviours.” 

Venues will have to name someone responsible for identifying players that show signs of gambling harm. The dedicated staff will have to complete advanced Responsible Conduct of Gambling training.

If the bill is passed, relatives of affected players will be able to ask hotels and clubs to ban someone from play, and players will be able to self-exclude via an online portal.

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