New Harm Minimisation Measures for NSW Pubs and Clubs

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In a proactive effort to prioritise patron safety and implement robust harm minimisation measures, the New South Wales (NSW) Government has rolled out new regulations affecting pubs and clubs with gaming machines. These measures are aimed at fostering a responsible gambling environment while safeguarding individuals at risk.

By mandating the presence of Responsible Gambling Officers and imposing restrictions on gambling-related signage near financial transaction points, NSW seeks to mitigate the adverse impacts of gambling and enhance transparency in gaming venues statewide.


Understanding the Regulatory Changes

The cornerstone of these new regulations is the requirement for venues with more than 20 gaming machines to appoint a dedicated Responsible Gambling Officer (RGO). This officer’s role is pivotal in monitoring and intervening when patrons exhibit signs of problematic gambling behaviour.

By ensuring trained personnel are on-site to assist, the NSW Government aims to provide immediate support to those in need and mitigate potential harm.

Ensuring Compliance and Training

Venues are tasked with identifying and training suitable staff members to serve as RGOs. This training equips them with the skills and knowledge necessary to recognise and manage gambling-related issues among patrons effectively.

It also underscores the importance of proactive intervention and support within gaming environments to create a safer space for all visitors.

Advertising and Signage Restrictions

Another critical aspect of the new regulations pertains to the placement of gambling-related signage near ATMs and EFTPOS terminals within gaming areas.

Venues are now prohibited from displaying such signage on or near these financial transaction points to minimise inadvertent promotion of gambling activities during financial transactions. This measure aims to reduce exposure to gambling prompts and encourage responsible spending practices among patrons.

Enhancing Transparency with Incident Reporting

To further enhance transparency and accountability, licensed venues are required to maintain a Gambling Incident Register. This register documents instances where patrons display behaviours indicative of gambling harm or request self-exclusion.

By documenting and analysing these incidents, venues can identify trends, implement targeted interventions, and assess the effectiveness of their harm minimisation strategies.

Future Directions and Continued Support

Looking ahead, additional measures are scheduled to come into effect from January 2025. These include relocating ATMs a minimum distance from gaming areas to ensure they are not visible from gaming machines or areas.

These proactive steps are aimed at further reducing accidental exposure to gambling stimuli and reinforcing responsible gambling practices across the state.

New Harm Minimisation Measures

The implementation of these harm minimisation measures by the NSW Government underscores its commitment to safeguarding public welfare in gaming environments. By mandating Responsible Gambling Officers, imposing signage restrictions, and enhancing incident reporting, NSW aims to create a safer and more responsible gambling culture within pubs and clubs.

These measures not only protect individuals at risk but also promote transparency and accountability within the industry. As these regulations take effect, stakeholders and the public alike can anticipate a more secure and supportive gaming environment across the state of New South Wales.

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