NSW venues with 20+ gaming machines to require Responsible Gambling Officers from July 2024

February 20, 2024
By Cody Profaca

The latest gambling harm reduction initiative by Liquor and Gaming NSW (L&GNSW) will see the mandatory incorporation of Responsible Gambling Officers in all venues with more than 20 gaming machine entitlements whenever the machines are in operation. 

The officers will be responsible for identifying at-risk patrons to then refer them to gambling support information and services, along with facilitating self-exclusion requests. 

“The introduction of Responsible Gambling Officers is the next important step in supporting people who may be experiencing gambling harm,” said David Harris, Minister for Gaming and Racing.

“They will be across pubs and clubs where gambling is happening, and be alert to patrons at risk of harm or displaying concerning gambling behaviour and link them in to the support they need, such as the GambleAware hotline.

In addition to the Responsible Gambling Officers, the new reforms also stipulate that all hotels with gaming machines will be required to keep a Gambling Incident Register and a Gaming Plan of Management. 

“We know there is no single solution to address harm from gambling, which is why we are implementing a range of gambling reforms,” said Harris.

“Harmful gambling not only impacts individuals, but also their loved ones and the broader community.

“In NSW, gaming machines represent the highest risk of gambling harm.”

Clubs with over 100 gaming machines will be required to have additional Responsible Gambling Officers on duty to sufficiently cover the larger workload. All Responsible Gambling Officers will be required to have completed the Advanced Responsible Conduct of Gambling training course. 

More information on the mandatory Responsible Gambling Officer reform, which has been implemented through amendments to the Gaming Machines Regulation 2019, is available in the NSW Government’s Position Paper

“The NSW Government is committed to gambling reform, reducing gambling harm and stopping money laundering and criminal activity associated with poker machines,” said Harris.

“[It] is committed to evidence-based gambling reform and has delivered more in 10 months than the previous government managed in 12 years.”

Since the beginning of December, L&GNSW inspectors have conducted 437 inspections at high-risk hotels and clubs across more than 30 LGAs. This follows an escalation of L&GNSW enforcement response throughout 2023, during which 16 penalty notices were issued and 13 prosecutions commenced for ATM location breaches

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