3 July 2024

Riverina's biggest pubs and clubs to follow new gambling machine measures

| Jarryd Rowley
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Riverina venues with more than 20 gaming machines will require a responsible gambling officer on duty during all times of operation. Photo: File.

The Riverina’s biggest pubs and clubs are now required to follow new measures surrounding gambling set by the NSW Government.

From 1 July all venues with more than 20 gaming machines need to have a dedicated responsible gambling officer (RGO) on duty while gaming machines are in operation.

Licensed venues are also required to remove any signage to gaming lounges within eyeshot of ATMs or EFTPOS terminals. Signage directing patrons to ATMs within eyesight of gaming machines must also be removed.

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While the measures have already been introduced, venues have a month’s grace period to remove signage and introduce RGOs.

Minister for Gaming and Racing David Harris said gaming machines posed the most serious risk of gambling harm.

“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,” he said.

“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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Venues will also be required to keep a gambling incident register to record details of occurrences including when a patron displays behaviour that indicates they are at risk of, or experiencing gambling harm, and any requests for self-exclusion.

Changes will also take effect on 1 January 2025. These will include ATMs having to be located at least five metres from the entry to a gaming room or area where gaming machines are located, while also having the machines themselves not being visible from the entry of gaming rooms.

Liquor & Gaming NSW inspectors have already commenced visiting venues across the state to ensure they are aware of the 1 July obligations and will be providing further guidance to the industry about the changes that apply from 1 January 2025.

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