NSW Pushes for Responsible Gambling Officers at Pubs with 20 Poker Machines

Pubs and other venues with 20 or more poker machines in New South Wales will now be required to have a Responsible Gambling Officer on staff. This officer’s main purpose will be to identify patrons who may be at risk of gambling harm. The new regulation will also require venues with over 100 poker machines to employ additional staff in this role. The new measure will not come into effect until July 1, 2024, allowing businesses time to adapt and become compliant with the law.

The introduction of Responsible Gambling Officers has been welcomed by responsible gambling groups and advocates, including Clubs NSW. Rebecca Riant, the CEO of Clubs NSW, expressed support for the new measure, stating that the trade group’s 1,200 members are prepared to comply with the regulations to protect patrons from gambling harm. However, the new requirement will place a financial burden on businesses as they will need to train and find qualified individuals for these roles.

New South Wales has also implemented other measures to address gambling-related harm, such as the removal of gambling inducements from physical signs outside of pubs and clubs. Additionally, the state has plans to limit the input into poker machines to AU$500 ($330) and is considering the introduction of mandatory cashless payment options. However, this proposal has faced opposition from clubs, who argue that it unfairly categorizes their patrons as criminals and raises concerns about data security.

Clubs in New South Wales have faced increased scrutiny, with some being penalized for having ATMs located near their gaming rooms. The state is taking a more rigorous approach to responsible gambling as it responds to the growing need for stricter measures to protect patrons from gambling harm.