The NSW Government has introduced a range of changes to liquor and gaming legislation that are the most significant changes to gambling regulation in NSW for a decade.
The changes follow extensive community and industry consultation and address concerns about gambling harm while focusing regulation on the areas of highest risk.
The changes also include reforms to the Local Impact Assessment (LIA) scheme that regulates gaming machine movements and caps the number of gaming machines in higher-risk communities. About 20 percent of NSW is now a ‘no go’ zone for additional machines, ensuring no additional machines can move into these areas.
Gaming machine data is also being made available free of change on the Liquor & Gaming website.
Reforms that directly affect the club Industry include changes to the amalgamation and de-amalgamation processes and the accountability requirements of registered clubs.
The proposed changes include:
- increasing the flexibility of the club amalgamation and de-amalgamation framework to make it easier for clubs to merge and de-merge
- A co-regulatory model that will see oversight of low-risk accountability responsibilities for clubs shared between L&GNSW and Clubs NSW, with L&GNSW retaining the power to step in where appropriate
- Financial penalties of up to $11,000 and disciplinary measures for individuals who breach club governance and management requirements.
Other legislation passed include:
- A leasing scheme for gaming machines held by small hotels and clubs, providing a new pathway for them to go machine-free.
- A tenfold increase in fines for wagering operators offering illegal inducements.
- More focused LIA assessments, using ABS statistical zones known as SA2s, with a stronger emphasis on vulnerable areas. These SA2s are ranked according to the likely risk of gambling-related harm in the community from additional gaming machines. The smaller SA2 community boundaries allow the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority to more accurately understand the impact of additional gaming machines on communities around NSW.
- Broader community consultation during the LIA process for longer periods.
- Directing LIA community contributions through the Responsible Gambling Fund with a mandate that the money be spent locally.
- A post-employment cooling-off period for senior Liquor & Gaming NSW staff.
- Venues in the Kings Cross precinct permitted to share ID scanner information with each other.
- Modernised regulation for casinos that is consistent between The Star and Crown Sydney.
To see more information about the suite of reforms passed by the NSW Parliament visit https://www.liquorandgaming.nsw.gov.au/Pages/about-us/recent-news.aspx
Source: Liquor & Gaming NSW