Liquor & Gaming NSW is kicking off the next phase of its targeted compliance program to ensure pubs and clubs are complying with key gaming harm-minimisation measures.
Phase Two builds on an already sustained compliance program that has seen more than 875 inspections over the past seven months.
The first phase of the compliance program has resulted in 77 Penalty Notices issued for gaming related breaches and the commencement of three prosecutions.
Under this next phase, a further 500 inspections are expected to be undertaken at pubs and clubs across the state, with Liquor & Gaming NSW taking a zero-tolerance approach to any breaches of key gambling harm minimisation measures.
Liquor & Gaming NSW Executive Director Regulatory Operations & Enforcement, Jane Lin, said while most venues were found to be compliant, inspectors are still identifying serious issues.
These include venues not operating in accordance with their primary purpose, meaning they are only operating gambling areas or only operating the bar in the gaming room, the placement of ATMs in areas where gaming machines are located and customers needing to pass through gaming rooms to access other parts of a venue.
“Gaming harm-minimisation measures are designed to ensure a safe gaming industry and limit the harm that can be associated with gambling. Failure to comply with these requirements carries penalties up to $5,500 and is grounds for disciplinary action,” Ms Lin said.
“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.”
Under this next phase of the compliance program inspectors will be visiting dozens of venues across metropolitan and regional NSW.
These include venues in the Greater Sydney area as well as the Liverpool Plains, Tamworth, Armidale, Uralla, Narrabri, Gunnedah, Singleton, Upper Hunter and Muswellbrook local government areas.
“Our inspectors will also be observing any gaming signage during the course of these inspections and will be happy to provide information and answer any questions venue operators may have about the signage ban which comes into force on 1 September,” Ms Lin said.