New South Wales lowers number of gaming machines and max input limit


Chris Minns, Premier of New South Wales, has advanced an ongoing commitment to gaming reform by reducing the number of available poker machines state-wide, as well as reducing the cash input on such devices.

Regarding the former, the government, which triumphed in a March election, has reduced the number of available gaming offerings across the region by more than 3,000. 

However, a substantial number are still available for patrons, with a study conducted earlier in the year finding New South Wales had more than 85,000 of the machines available for usage.

Under regulation, pubs and clubs need to have sufficient gaming machine entitlements to legally operate poker machines, and these entitlements can be traded between venues.

Furthermore, amid an ongoing aim of reform, gambling harm reduction and money laundering prevention, a tenfold decrease in the maximum cash input limit for gaming machines has also been approved.

In what was hailed as delivering on “a key election commitment”, the reduced limit, which has been approved by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, will set a new limit of A$500. This is down from A$5,000 and will enter into force from July 1, 2023.

This follows a prior ban on external signage for gambling rooms, with legislation also passed to prevent political parties from accepting financial donations from clubs with gaming machines from the aforementioned date.

David Harris, Minister for Gaming and Racing, commented: “We promised the people of NSW that we’d reform the gaming sector in a way that reduced gambling harm while future-proofing the industry.

“One of these commitments was to reduce the number of poker machines in this state – and this is an important step forward.

“Further down the track, we’ll also be changing the GME forfeiture scheme so that for every two entitlements traded, one will be forfeited – which will see numbers drop at a faster rate.

“It’s important that as we navigate through these changes, we engage with industry so that we can ensure vibrancy of our hospitality and gaming industries.”

Earlier in the week, the ILGA detailed that it would be 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.

A reminder has also been distributed all venues across NSW to comply with fundamental gaming harm-minimisation requirements, following the detection of ATMs with credit card withdrawal functions at two Sydney venues.