LOCAL COMMUNITY CAPS ON GAMING MACHINES

LOCAL COMMUNITY CAPS ON GAMING MACHINES

The NSW Government will cap the number of gaming machines in higher-risk communities, including around Fairfield, Minister for Racing Paul Toole said today.

“Local community caps are an appropriate response to concerns that some areas have too many gaming machines. These areas will be capped at their current number, ensuring no additional machines can move into these areas,” Mr Toole said.

“A number of councils and community groups suggested caps and the NSW Government agrees this is the right thing to do in higher-risk areas.

“Local community caps are part of a package of reforms that represent the most significant changes to gambling regulation in NSW for a decade.

“The reforms include an overhaul of the Local Impact Assessment (LIA) scheme that regulates gaming machine movements. These changes will deliver more transparency, more community consultation and greater certainty for industry.”

The NSW Government will provide more information than ever before about gaming machines, with comprehensive activity and profit statistics available free of charge from today.

Gambling reform legislation introduced into Parliament today includes:

· More focused LIA assessments using ABS statistical zones, not council areas, and with a stronger emphasis on vulnerable areas;
· Broader community consultation during the LIA process for longer periods;
· Directing LIA community contributions through the Responsible Gambling Fund with a mandate that the money be spent locally;
· A leasing scheme for gaming machines held by small hotels and clubs, providing a new pathway for them to go machine-free;
· Streamlined regulation of clubs and tougher penalties for directors who do the wrong thing;
· A tenfold increase in fines for wagering operators offering illegal inducements;
· Post-employment cooling-off period for senior Liquor & Gaming NSW staff; and
· Modernised regulation for casinos that is consistent between venues.

“These reforms follow extensive consultation and represent a reset of the way gambling is regulated in NSW. They recognise concerns about gambling harm, while focusing regulation on where there is real risk,” Mr Toole said.

The reforms come on top of changes in January to bolster the Responsible Gambling Fund to support responsible gambling and minimise the risk of gambling-related harm in the community.

Further information is at www.liquorandgaming.nsw.gov.au

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