Scandals Leave Serious Changes Looming Over NSW Gaming

Image by Pawan Kawan
Article by : Helen Oct 7, 2020

Last July amid a string of gaming scandals the New South Wales government put together a new proposal consisting of nearly ninety pages of legislation concerning the operation of gaming machines.

One such scandal was at The Star Casino, which ended up being fined 90,000 AUD (Approx. 64K USD) due to infractions involving minors on the gaming floor. In one instance, a family snuck their twelve-year-old onto the casino floor, and she placed over a dozen video poker bets in less than fifteen minutes. The family was only stopped on their way out the door as they were detected by security.

This is a serious issue, as The Star is the second-largest casino in Australia, and given its size, can be considered to set the standard on the enforcement of regulations. It should be noted that The Star did self-report the violations after realizing the various instances and reviewing the footage from their security films. Choosing to self-report likely saved them from more significant punishments or fines.

Concerns over the effects of gambling are not new to Australia or the NSW government. In 2009 a gambling inquiry led by the Productivity Commission discovered Australians that gambled lost on average $1500 for a total of over nineteen billion dollars from 2008-2009. Later in 2011, an independent research survey published by Ogilvy Illumination revealed the most common traits of a problem gambler were: male, either between 18-24 years old or 35-54 years old, single, divorced/separated/widowed, and unemployed.

Despite its long history of gaming, the NSW government has moved forward to propose new legislation that thoroughly protects players from casino practices that can facilitate gambling abuse. The new legislation also aims to move the onus of responsibility for asking for help from the players suffering from gambling addiction or abusive gaming tendencies to the casinos, hotels, and clubs running the games taking the initiative to combat underage or addictive gaming.

For example, the legislation proposes that gaming operators must have someone certified and knowledgeable on signs of gambling abuse monitoring games at all times and proactively looking for any potential issues. Previously, patrons would have to request help in order for a gaming operator to step in and refer counseling services, or include a patron on an exclusion list.

While adopting practices that curb and drastically reduce gambling abuse are always favorable, there’s no mention of how casino employees are to undertake this training, how they should be compensated for it, and how casinos will have to adjust to having employees available to monitor the casino or gaming floor full time.

There’s a further taboo documented in 2007, and relevant today: while most venue staff thought they could easily identify problem gamblers, yet even then, most also indicated that it was difficult to approach problem gamblers. Still, casinos and gaming operators will have to grapple with this issue while maintaining a friendly and hospitable environment for their other patrons in the vicinity if this new legislation passes.

The other major change brought about by the legislation is the creation of a state-wide self-exclusion register. The new register will ensure exclusions are managed from a central location which will help to restrict problem gamblers from being able to move from venue to venue while they’re on the exclusion list.

The NSW government is requesting feedback and accepting public comments on the new proposal until October 30th. If you’ve personally been impacted by gambling abuse consider reviewing the proposal and providing your perspective on what will significantly help to combat the issue.

Helen

Chief Editor

SlotsUp - Free Slots Universe at FacebookSlotsUp slot games at PinterestSlotsUp at TwitterSlotsUp's Slot Games video reviews at Youtube