Get ready for pokie reform

CLUBS and pubs have welcomed new reforms requiring those with more than 20 gaming machines to have a Responsible Gambling Officer on duty while poker machines are in operation.

The idea behind the NSW Government initiative which comes into effect on July 1, is that the officers will help identify patrons at risk of harm or displaying concerning gambling behaviour and refer them to gambling support information and services as well as facilitate requests for self-exclusion.
All hotels and clubs with gaming machines will also be required to keep a Gambling Incident Register and a Gaming Plan of Management as part of the reforms.
Gamblers put over $300 million in the 2,714 machines available at the 32 clubs and pubs across Cumberland in the first six months of last year.
Merrylands RSL Group Gaming Manager Chris Debrincat said members and patrons who visited Merrylands RSL, knew it was a safe, secure and responsibly operated venue.
“We consider ourselves to be proactive in this area, demonstrated through our introduction of Responsible Gambling Officers in June last year,” he said.
“We are a founding member of BetSafe, Australia’s leading responsible gambling program and are strong advocates of evidence and consultation based reforms for our industry.”
A Dooleys Lidcombe spokesperson said: “Dooleys welcomes the initiative by the NSW Government and have always been committed to strengthening responsible gambling practices in our venues.”
Along with Auburn Hotel, Royal Hotel Granville’s Vinnie Gadal said their plans were already in place.
“We are presently organising training sessions for all of our staff regarding the new gambling harm minimisation measures,” she said.
The NSW Government has already implemented other reforms including reducing the cash input limit from $5,000 to $500 for all new machines; establishing the Independent Panel on Gaming Reform; and banning gaming-related signage.
The GambleAware phoneline is 1800 858 858 or for more info: