NSW steps up controls on illegal gambling signage

Failure to adhere carries penalties of up to AU$11,000 per violation.
Failure to adhere carries penalties of up to AU$11,000 per violation.

A zero-tolerance approach began on December 1.

Australia.- The Liquor & Gaming New South Wales (L&GNSW) has initiated the final phase of its compliance programme against prohibited gaming signage. A zero-tolerance approach began on December 1.

External and internal gaming-related signage is prohibited, and there must be no allusion to gaming at all. During an inspection, L&GNSW inspectors found fault with the Royal Hotel at Granville for using large external signs with cartoon imagery promoting its restaurant, Mr Choy’s Wok, because the imagery was similar to that used in the Choy’s Kingdom electronic gaming machine.

The licensee received a statutory direction under section 75 of the Liquor Act, requiring the signage to be changed or removed. It has now complied but has applied for the decision to be reviewed.

Inspectors also found that a digital archway around the external gaming room entrance at the Stardust Hotel at Cabramatta contained animations of a panda holding and chewing on a branch similar to those used in the ‘Panda Magic’ electronic gaming machine. This licensee was also issued a statutory direction to cease use. Failure to adhere carries penalties of up to AU$11,000 per violation.

See also: NSW pubs and clubs show high compliance with gambling signage ban

Minister for Gaming & Racing, David Harris, said L&GNSW will no longer accept any reason for a delay in the removal of prohibited signage.

He said: “Any signage that attempts to circumvent the prohibition on gambling-related signage will be met with an escalated enforcement response. This includes the use of animations, symbols or characters commonly associated with gambling, poker machine graphics or gambling franchises.

“Since the ban took effect in September, Liquor & Gaming inspectors have attended over 1,200 venues across 53 local government areas (LGAs) in NSW, including 19 regional LGAs, which represents over 55 per cent of the venues in the state that hold gaming machine entitlements. Inspections have indicated a compliance rate of 99 per cent for external gaming-related signage.

“By now, venue operators should have a full understanding of the requirements and all illegal signage should be removed. Removing this signage is just one important part of our commitment to gambling reform to reduce harm and tackle money laundering head on in NSW.”

In this article: