Liquor & Gaming NSW (L&GNSW) is again reminding 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.
Under the Gaming Machines Act 2001, hotels or clubs with gaming machines are not allowed to have ATMs with credit access in any part of the venue.
The Wentworth Hotel at Homebush, owned by Iris Capital Group, was issued a direction to remove the credit card withdrawal function from an ATM on the premises, following a complaint from a customer who withdrew around $2000 from a credit account for gaming purposes.
The Earlwood Hotel, owned by the Orion Hotel Group, was also issued a direction last week to remove the credit card access from an ATM on the premises, and also to remove material from the ATM screen that promoted gambling facilities at the hotel.
L&GNSW inspectors attended each hotel twice and on all four occasions were able to withdraw money from credit accounts.
L&GNSW Executive Director Regulatory Operations & Enforcement, Jane Lin, said L&GNSW has communicated with industry several times to ensure all gaming harm-minimisation requirements are being complied with.
“These requirements are about limiting the harm that can be associated with gambling. Credit card restrictions are a fundamental measure that exists to stop people getting in over their head,” Ms Lin said.
“We have escalated our enforcement approach to these requirements, including by prosecuting offences and issuing statutory directions or using other administrative remedies to address instances of non-compliance to keep our community safe. Inspectors are out and actively testing credit withdrawal functions at licensed premises.”
It comes after L&GNSW ordered the Gaslight Inn and The Colombian Hotel in Darlinghurst, which are also owned by Iris Capital Group, to move or screen gaming machines from interconnected rooms within the venues.
The venues were effectively operating their gaming rooms together as one expanded gaming room.
“Liquor & Gaming NSW takes a zero-tolerance approach to venues that do not comply with gaming harm minimisation requirements. While the majority of venues do the right thing, those that breach these laws or try to find creative ways to avoid complying with their obligations can expect to face the full force of the law.”
Failure to comply with a direction from Liquor & Gaming NSW carries a maximum penalty of $5,500.