Liquor & Gaming New South Wales has reported that nearly 99 per cent of pubs and clubs inspected in are free of external gambling-related signage.
Australia.- The L&GNSW has found that nearly 99 per cent of pubs and clubs inspected in NSW are free of external gambling-related signage.
The regulator inspected over 1100 venues across 35 metropolitan and 8 regional Local Government Areas (LGAs). This is slightly over 50 per cent of all venues in NSW authorised to host gaming machines.
Investigators identified only 16 establishments that displayed prohibited external signage, leading to ongoing investigations by L&GNSW.
The ban on external gambling signage was announced in May as part of gaming reforms following an election commitment and was effective from September 1, 2023.
Currently, inspectors are scrutinising the instances where prohibited signage was identified. Venues unable to substantiate that their delays in removing the signage were beyond their control may face fines.
L&GNSW inspectors uncovered cases where operators appeared to be attempting to circumvent the restrictions by introducing new signage. These instances are under investigation.
L&GNSW says it will adopt a zero-tolerance stance from December 1, 2023. Failure to adhere carries penalties of up to AU$11,000 per violation.
The government’s broader gaming reform agenda includes various measures aimed at reducing harm, including 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.
Other measures include the establishment of Responsible Gaming Officers at venues with a significant number of machines, the expansion of a state-wide third-party exclusion register and the formation of an independent panel of expert stakeholders to oversee cashless gaming trials.
Minister for Gaming & Racing, David Harris, said: “Removing this signage for pubs and clubs is just one part of our commitment to reducing gambling harm in our community and I thank licensees and industry bodies for getting on board.
“We have been working positively and proactively with industry associations and venues across the state to educate, inform and support them through this process and ensure this high level of compliance.
“We welcome the positive impact this campaign has had on the exteriors of licensed venues which now solely feature advertisements for a diverse range of offerings such as food and beverage specials, live music and entertainment instead of signs designed to advertise the presence of gaming machines. It makes a noticeable difference to the amenity of our cities and suburbs.
“It’s great to see industry and government working together to prevent and reduce gambling harm in the community and we will continue to do so.”