NSW extends pokies consultation amid ongoing industry talks

The New South Wales government has extended a consultation on new player protection legislation, to give authorities more time to work with pubs and clubs to ensure proposed measures including player monitoring and enhanced self-exclusion are effective.


The state’s Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello explained that since the draft of the Gaming Machines Amendment (Gambling Harm Minimisation) Bill 2020 was released in September, there had been significant interest in the reforms.

Dominello said that while there was broad agreement around the core objectives, the extended consultation would allow for more discussions with venues on how to ensure the measures set out in the legislation were effective. The bill aims to have venues legally obliged to actively identify and assist any players showing signs of problem gambling, with a trained member of staff on duty to monitor all gambling devices and activity.

It also aims to launch an enhanced, state-wide self-exclusion system, through which players would be permitted to block access to all gambling venues through an online portal.

This scheme would also allow for involuntary self-exclusion, whereby family members could apply to have an individual banned from venues hosting gaming machines.

The venues would also have to provide statements with activity logs on request, and remove all cash dispensers from their properties. Those that failed to comply would face higher penalties

“The extension of public consultation provides a further opportunity for us to work with pubs and clubs and other stakeholders to find solutions, potentially using technology to meet this objective,” Dominello said.

“I am hopeful that we can find an industry-led solution that takes into account the different size, scale and risk profile of the 3,000 pubs and clubs across our state.”

The consultation, originally due to conclude on 30 October, now runs until 11 December.