The NSW Labor opposition will push for new laws to allow family members to have their relatives with gambling problems banned from entering venues with poker machines.
Opposition leader Luke Foley said Labor would introduce legislation when NSW Parliament returns to allow third-party exclusions from gambling venues as a “last resort option” when the avenue of self-exclusion is not taken up.
Under the current system, venues cannot legally intervene and exclude a problem gambler based on the assertions of third parties.
Labor’s move has drawn early support from ClubsNSW, which has long called for the expansion of the exclusion scheme to extend to family members.
“ClubsNSW welcomes this announcement from Luke Foley and is looking forward to working with all stakeholders to make third-party exclusions a reality,” a ClubsNSW spokesman said.
“We think it is going to remove the one weakness in the system of multi-venue self-exclusion, which has proven to be one of the most effective tools we have to help people struggling with their gambling.”
Under Labor’s proposal, an independent expert panel will be established to decide if a ban should be imposed, based on all available evidence. The scheme would also allow for orders for mandatory counselling to be issued.
“The process would mean reaching out to the problem gambler first and offering them the option of self-exclusion and therapeutic intervention. Third-party exclusion is a last resort,” Mr Foley said.