Liquor & Gaming NSW is stepping up a state-wide compliance initiative that is tasked with monitoring compliance with key gaming harm-minimisation measures.

After it was recently suggested that venue closures could commence across the region to combat EGM concerns, in the region of 500 inspections are to commence at pubs and clubs.

Under this second stage of the program, the liquor, wagering and gaming regulator has warned that a “zero-tolerance approach” to breaches will be taken”.

The initiative is to inspect the promotion of safer gambling cultures, protecting patrons and the wider communication for excessive gambling and the presence of associated signage across the facilities.

Jane Lin, Liquor & Gaming NSW Executive Director Regulatory Operations & Enforcement, acknowledged that while “most venues were found to be compliant”, concerns were raised at the “serious issues” that were being uncovered. 

These include patrons being requires to pass through a gaming room to access the wider establishment, placement of ATMs with gaming zones and pubs and clubs not operating in accordance with their primary purpose

“Gaming harm-minimisation measures are designed to ensure a safe gaming industry and limit the harm that can be associated with gambling,” Lin said.

“Failure to comply with these requirements carries penalties up to $5,500 and is grounds for disciplinary action.

Phase one of Liquor & Gaming NSW’s targeted compliance program saw investigations take place to ensure compliance with key gaming harm-minimisation measures.

This saw over 875 inspections take place, which resulted in 77 penalty notices being issued for gaming related breaches. Three prosecutions were also started.

Under this next phase of the compliance program inspectors will be visiting dozens of venues across metropolitan and regional NSW.

These include venues in the Greater Sydney area as well as the Liverpool Plains, Tamworth, Armidale, Uralla, Narrabri, Gunnedah, Singleton, Upper Hunter and Muswellbrook local government areas.