Laws that help minimise gambling harm
Consultation period: 25/09/2020 10:00 am to 11/12/2020 11:59 pm
What's this about?
The NSW Government is committed to reducing gambling harm across NSW.
The Gaming Machines Amendment (Gambling Harm Minimisation) Bill 2020 will update the Gaming Machines Act 2001 to help registered clubs and hotels minimise gambling harm and provide support to gaming machine players.
The Bill would change responsibility for managing gambling related harms. Instead of only needing to provide support when someone specifically asks for help, clubs and hotels would need to actively identify and assist gaming machine players who display problematic gambling behaviours.
Some of the changes would include:
- venues to have a person on duty that has completed advanced Responsible Conduct of Gambling training and will identify and respond to problematic gambling behaviours
- a new exclusion scheme in clubs and hotels, so family members can ask venues to ban someone whose problematic gambling behaviours are causing harm to themselves or others
- making it easier for venues to issue and enforce their own exclusion orders
- allowing a person to self-exclude via an online portal
- a state-wide exclusion register, so that different exclusion schemes and individual venues can record exclusions in one place
- requiring that venues suspend an excluded person’s player account and membership of any player reward scheme
- new and increased penalties
- whistle-blower protections for club and hotel staff who inform Liquor & Gaming NSW or the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority when a hotel or club breaks harm minimisation rules
- any winnings by people who’ve been excluded or are under 18 will be forfeited to the Responsible Gambling Fund, which funds programs and initiatives to help reduce gambling harm.
The proposed changes respond to the need to support gaming machine players experiencing problems, and improve the way clubs and hotels can minimise gambling harm as they continue to get back to business.
What's happened so far?
Liquor & Gaming NSW has consulted with the Office of Responsible Gambling to help draft the Bill.
Other reforms carried out since 2017 as part of the government’s commitment to reducing gambling harm include:
- An overhaul of the Local Impact Assessment (LIA) process that regulates gaming machine movement. This resulted in:
- capping the number of machines in high-risk communities
- giving the community more time to provide feedback during the consultation period
- directing LIA community contributions through the Responsible Gambling Fund to spend in local communities.
- Establishing the Office of Responsible Gambling to lead the development of responsible gambling strategy and provide public policy advice to the NSW Government, and manage programs and initiatives to prevent and reduce gambling harm in the community.
- Introducing the Gaming Machines Regulation 2019 to streamline regulation for venues and improve harm minimisation and player information.
Consultation on the Gaming Machines Amendment (Gambling Harm Minimisation) Bill 2020 took place between September and December 2020.
The consultation on the Gaming Machines Amendment (Gambling Harm Minimisation) Bill 2020 is now closed.
Feedback will be carefully considered before the Bill is finalised and introduced into Parliament.
- 25 September – 11 December 2020: Consultation open for community and stakeholder feedback on the Gaming Machines Amendment (Gambling Harm Minimisation) Bill 2020.
- From 12 December 2020: Liquor & Gaming NSW considers feedback and finalises the Bill for introduction to the NSW Parliament.
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