Pubs and clubs across the state will soon be required to have a responsible gambling officer on duty while gaming machines are in operation.
From 1 July, venues that have licences that allow the operation of more than 20 machines, will require officers to identify patrons who are at risk of harm or displaying concerning gambling behaviour.
All hotels and clubs with gaming machines will also be required to keep a ‘Gambling Incident Register’ and a ‘Gaming Plan of Management’ as part of a suite of reforms being implemented to reduce the risk of gambling harm and support people who may need help.
The new requirements come as the State Government implemented new amendments to the Gaming Machines Regulation 2019.
Minister for Gaming and Racing David Harris said changes had been made as government was committed to gambling reform, reducing gambling harm and stopping money laundering and criminal activity associated with poker machines.
“Harmful gambling not only impacts individuals but also their loved ones and the broader community,” he said.
“We know there is no single solution to address harm from gambling, which is why we are implementing a range of gambling reforms.
“In NSW, gaming machines represent the highest risk of gambling harm.”
Mr Harris said one in three people who gambled regularly were considered to be moderate or high-risk gamblers according to the Problem Gambling Severity Index.
“The introduction of responsible gambling officers is the next important step in supporting people who may be experiencing gambling harm,” Mr Harris explained.
“They will be across pubs and clubs where gambling is happening and be alert to patrons at risk of harm or displaying concerning gambling behaviour and link them to the support they need, such as the GambleAware hotline.
“It is great to have industry on board with our gambling reform agenda as well as harm minimisation organisations. Together we are making a real difference in tackling gambling-related harm.
“The NSW Labor Government is committed to evidence-based gambling reform and has delivered more in 10 months than the previous government managed in 12 years.”
To learn more about the changes to gambling regulations click here.
The GambleAware phoneline 1800 858 858 is open 24 hours a day for anyone needing support. It is free and confidential.