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NSW: 99% venues without outdoor gambling signs after ban

| By Zak Thomas-Akoo
Liquor and Gaming NSW (L&GNSW) has announced 99% of venues in the state are now without outdoor gambling signs after a 1 September ban.
NSW gambling

During the regulator’s compliance push, L&GNSW inspected over 1,100 pubs and clubs across the Premier State. This represents over 50% of all venues in NSW permitted to operate gambling machines, often colloquially called pokies in Australia.

Of this total, the probe found 16 locations which continued to maintain now prohibited outdoor gambling signs. L&GNSW highlighted this stands against an overall positive compliance rate.

The regulator said these venues may face a fine if they are unable to prove the delay in was caused by factors outside their control.

“It’s great to see industry and government working together to prevent and reduce gambling harm in the community and we will continue to do so,” said minister for gaming and racing David Harris.

“We have been working positively and proactively with industry associations and venues across the state to educate, inform and support them through this process and ensure this high level of compliance.

NSW bans external gambling signs in RG push

New South Wales first announced it would be banning outdoor gambling signs in May. Venues that fail to remove signs can face up to 100 penalty units, or AU$11,000 (£5,740/US$7,000/€6,640).

The regulator emphasised the removal of external signage is just one part of the state’s wider responsible gaming push.

Other initiatives include reducing the cash input limit from $5,000 to $500 for all new electronic gaming machines after 1 July 2023.

NSW also announced a drop by 3,000 in the number of gaming licences in circulation. The state banned gambling businesses from making political donations. It also imposed a requirement for a responsible gaming officer at locations with over 20 machines.

“Removing this signage for pubs and clubs is just one part of our commitment to reducing gambling harm in our community and I thank licensees and industry bodies for getting on board,” added Harris.

Problem gambling funding injection

In September, NSW announced it would be granting a new $100.0m funding injection to reduce gambling harms across the state.

A range of gambling harm minimisation programmes would be funded by redirecting the $100.0m fine imposed on Star Entertainment in October 2022.

The state’s Minns government inserted the responsible gambling funding in its first budget of the year. This came after the Australian Labor Party, led by Chris Minns, took control of NSW in March as a minority government.

Last week, Victoria’s government submitted its gambling reform bill to parliament. The bill would establish an enforced curfew in gaming venues.

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