Liquor & Gaming NSW, New South Wales’ gambling regulator, continues its quest to minimize gambling harm in the state. As part of its targeted compliance program, the authority will probe into local clubs and pubs and will make sure that they are obeying the rules.
The ongoing efforts constitute phase two of Liquor & Gaming NSW’s program and come in the wake of over 875 inspections that the authority has conducted over the past seven months. The second phase will see the regulator conduct 500 new inspections at local pubs and clubs.
Liquor & Gaming NSW warned that it has a “zero-tolerance approach” to breaches of its gambling harm minimization measures and will penalize incompliant operators accordingly. For reference, the authority issued 77 penalty notices during the first phase of its ongoing program, resulting in three prosecutions.
Exec Director Lin Listed the Most Common Violations
As outlined by Jane Lin, Liquor & Gaming NSW’s executive director of regulatory operations and enforcement, there are still some problems that need to be taken care of. She explained that most properties followed the rules but added that certain violations were still identified.
Lin listed three common issues. The first are venues that are not operating in accordance with their primary purpose. This mostly includes bars and clubs that are only operating gambling areas or a single bar in the gaming room.
Another serious breach was the presence of ATMs in the same areas as gambling machines. Finally, some areas were designed in a way that forces the visitors to pass through the gaming rooms, which is in strict violation of the rules.
The Regulator Is Committed to Protecting the Local Market
Lin explained that NSW’s gambling harm minimization measures are designed to protect players from gambling harm and ensure a healthy gambling industry. Because of that, the regulator is very serious about cracking down on violators.
Lin explained that a breach of the regulations carries penalties of up to $5,500 and can result in further disciplinary action.
Our compliance program is all about promoting a culture of safer gambling and protecting patrons and the wider community from problems associated with excessive gambling.
Jane Lin, executive director of regulatory operations and enforcement, Liquor & Gaming NSW
The second phase of the compliance program will see Liquor & Gaming NSW inspectors visit many venues, including properties in the Greater Sydney area and pubs and clubs in the Liverpool Plains, Tamworth, Armidale, Uralla, Narrabri, Gunnedah, Singleton, Upper Hunter and Muswellbrook local government areas.
Lin concluded that inspectors will thoroughly check the venues and observe any gaming signage. For reference, NSW will ban external gambling signs starting September 1.