New South Wales Tightens Enforcement of Gambling Signage Laws

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Liquor & Gaming New South Wales (L&GNSW) has called for stricter adherence to new gambling signage laws in New South Wales, Australia. Since September 1 of this year, all external and visible interior gambling-related signage has been prohibited in the state.

This rule extends to various types of signs at pubs and clubs, from simple signs to sophisticated digital displays. Prohibited names and imagery include those suggestive of exclusive or luxury gaming areas, as well as symbols commonly associated with gambling, such as dragons and coins.

Compliance and Penalties

The consequences for non-compliance are substantial. Venues risk facing fines up to AU$11,000 for each offence. In October, L&GNSW reported a high compliance rate of 99% among state venues. However, some establishments have been reprimanded for attempting to skirt the new gambling regulations. From December 1, L&GNSW has begun to implement more stringent enforcement actions against venues that continue to flout the law.

L&GNSW has taken action in several notable instances. Two venues were directed to remove signage that subtly imitated gaming machine graphics. The Royal Hotel in Granville had to remove cartoon imagery from its restaurant’s promotion, as it resembled graphics from a popular electronic gaming machine.

Similarly, the Stardust Hotel in Cabramatta was directed to stop using an animation featuring a panda, which was reminiscent of another gaming machine’s visuals. David Harris, NSW’s minister for gaming and racing, emphasized that any attempt to bypass the prohibition on gambling-related signage would be met with strict enforcement.

Broader Efforts for Responsible Gambling

These measures are part of a larger initiative to promote responsible gambling in NSW. The government has implemented several other reforms, such as reducing the cash input limit in poker machines and lowering the state-wide cap on gaming machine entitlements. Political donations from gaming-involved clubs are now prohibited, and a trial for cashless gaming is being overseen by an independent panel. Moreover, NSW has announced a significant funding initiative aimed at reducing gambling harm, financed by a hefty fine imposed on Star Entertainment.