The Liquor & Gaming NSW (L&GNSW) has implemented a new compliance program regarding gaming signage at various venues. The third stage of this program has just begun, and there will now be zero tolerance for any violations of this rule.
L&GNSW has taken strict actions to ensure compliance with the new laws. Two venues were banned from displaying signage that resembled electronic gaming machines, even though the machines themselves were not displayed. Since December 1, strict measures have been applied to anyone displaying gaming-related signage, both internally and externally, if it is visible from outside.
One such example is The Royal Hotel in Granville, which used a cartoon picture to promote its restaurant ‘Mr Choy’s Wok’, resembling the ‘Choy’s Kingdom’ electronic gaming machine. The signage was removed, but the hotel submitted an appeal on this decision. Similarly, The Stardust Hotel at Cabramatta displayed an image resembling the ‘Panda Magic’ electronic gaming machine, and the picture had to be removed.
David Harris, Minister for Gaming and Racing, emphasized that any delay in removing the signage will not be accepted, and an escalated enforcement response will be taken against any signage attempting to circumvent the prohibition on gambling-related signage.
The compliance rate for the new regulations has been high, with inspectors visiting over 1,200 venues in 54 local government areas in the state. The compliance rate was 99%. Venue operators have been urged to fully understand the requirements and remove any illegal signage to adhere to the commitment to gambling reform and reduce harm in New South Wales.
Venues that do not comply with the new regulations about the signage could face hefty penalties. The maximum penalty for violating the Gaming Machines Act is $11,000 per offense, along with disciplinary action.
The NSW Government has been making various changes to regulations since March, including reducing the cash input limit, capping gaming machine entitlements, banning political donations, and establishing a new independent panel to oversee trials of cashless gaming in New South Wales.