Since the Liquor & Gaming NSW (L&GNSW) launched its new compliance program related to displaying gaming signage at various venues, a lot changed – but there’s a lot more to be done as well. The third stage has just begun, and now there will be zero tolerance when it comes to this rule.
L&GNSW is pretty strict when it comes to complying with the new laws. Among the recent actions is banning two venues from displaying the new signages that resembled electronic gaming machines, even though the machines themselves weren’t displayed.
Since December 1, strict measures have been taken against anyone who displays the signage, including everything related to gaming, both internal and external, if it can be visible from outside.
The Royal Hotel at Granvillepromoted its restaurant ‘Mr Choy’s Wok’ using a cartoon picture that resembled the ‘Choy’s Kingdom’ electronic gaming machine. The signage was removed by L&GNSW, but the hotel submitted an appeal on this decision.
The Stardust Hotel at Cabramatta displayed an image of a panda with a branch or plant that resembled the ‘Panda Magic’ electronic gaming machine, so the picture had to be removed as well.
David Harris, a Minister for Gaming and Racing, said that the regulatory body won’t accept any delays when it comes to the removal of the signage, regardless of the reason. He claimed: “Any signage that attempts to circumvent the prohibition on gambling-related signage will be met with an escalated enforcement response. This includes the use of animations, symbols or characters commonly associated with gambling, poker machine graphics or gambling franchises.”
The ban started in September, and the authority’s inspectors have already visited more than 1.200 venues in 54 local government areas in the state. This is more than 55% of venues that have already been visited, among the ones that possess licenses for operating the gaming machines. The compliance rate was 99%.
Harris added: “By now, venue operators should have a full understanding of the requirements, and all illegal signage should be removed. Removing this signage is just one important part of our commitment to gambling reform to reduce harm and tackle money laundering head-on in NSW.”
The new regulations:
The venues that don’t comply with the new regulations about the signage can pay huge penalties. The maximum penalty for violating the Gaming Machines Act is $11.000 per offense, along with disciplinary action.
The NSW Government began changing the regulations in March, and since then, various measures have been conducted, including reducing the cash input limit, reducing the cap on gaming machine entitlements, banning political donations, and establishing a new independent panel to take care of trials of cashless gaming in New South Wales.