The NSW Government announced on Tuesday that no new poker machine licenses would be granted to areas identified as problem gambling areas. The “no-go zone” for new poker machines includes the areas of Fairfield, Granville and Auburn.
In total that equates to about 20 percent of NSW according to an ABC report.
A weighting system is used when deciding where new poker machines can be placed, and under the new regulations, a greater weight will be given to socio-economic factors.
“In the past socio-economic factors were at 33 percent weighting, today it is going to be 70 percent weighting,” said NSW Gaming and Racing Minister Paul Toole.
“Local community caps are an appropriate response to concerns that some areas have too many gaming machines. These areas will be capped at their current number, ensuring no additional machines can move into these areas,” Mr Toole said
Other Gaming reforms introduced included:
- More focused LIA assessments using ABS statistical zones, not council areas, with a stronger emphasis on vulnerable areas
- Broader community consultation during the LIA process for longer periods
- Directing LIA community contributions through the Responsible Gambling Fund with a mandate that the money be spent locally
- A leasing scheme for gaming machines held by small hotels and clubs, providing a new pathway for them to go machine-free
- A post-employment cooling-off period for senior Liquor & Gaming NSW staff
- Modernised regulation for casinos that is consistent between venues
- A tenfold increase in fines for wagering operators offering illegal inducements like bonus bets and money-back offers when gamblers lose.
Sources: ABC, The Hotelier