26 September 2023

New crackdown on gaming signs

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The Liquor and Gaming NSW Agency is introducing a Government initiative to reduce problem gambling by banning external signage promoting the activity from pubs and clubs across the State by 1 September.

The action comes after the introduction of legislation in Parliament banning clubs with poker machines from donating to political parties.

The Department will now formally notify pubs and clubs that all external gambling-related signs, including fixed unilluminated awning signs and digital video displays, will need to be removed, altered, or concealed before 1 September.

The Agency said it had developed a position paper which outlined its enforcement approach and transition period.

“Where venues can demonstrate delays in removing their signage that are outside of their control, they will be afforded a further three months to comply,” the Agency said in a statement.

“Following this period, a zero-tolerance approach will be adopted,” it said.

“Names such as VIP Room/VIP Lounge, Golden Room/Lounge, Players’ Room/Lounge, Prosperity Room/Lounge, will be among names banned, as well as images of dragons, coins or lightning motifs.”

It said the maximum penalty for those who failed to remove their signs was 100 penalty units, or $11,000, per offence.

Minister for Gaming and Racing, David Harris said currently the facades of pubs and clubs were littered with these signs, alerting those walking or driving by that they had gaming machines.

“Some of these signs are extremely prominent, can be seen by children and members of the community who are at risk of gambling harm,” Mr Harris said.

“While there are already laws in place that prohibit gaming-related signage, venue operators have circumvented these by advertising ‘VIP Lounges’.

“We are putting an end to this loophole for the health and wellbeing of our communities,” he said.

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