Liquor & Gaming NSW recently made an announcement regarding the violation of gambling-related regulations by an inner Sydney venue. According to the findings of the authority, the operator of the venue in question had placed an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) in an adjacent room to its gaming room, which goes against the Gaming Machines Regulation 2019.
The specific regulation states that ATMs must be located in completely separate rooms from the gaming area. However, Vbar, the venue in question, had an ATM in an adjacent room with a large sign displaying “ATM” across the door, clearly violating the regulations set by NSW.
The regulations regarding the placement of ATMs are in place to minimize the harm associated with gambling, as the proximity of ATMs to gaming areas can lead to repeated withdrawals, worsening the harm for problem players. Inspectors continue to monitor various factors related to the placement of ATMs, including the availability of credit from ATMs on the premises, the visibility of internal gaming-related signage, and hotel layouts that direct visitors through a gaming room when going to another area.
Additionally, inspectors ensure that gaming rooms display self-exclusion messaging, comply with Gaming Plans of Management, and do not permit minors to enter.
As a penalty for the violation, the licensee of Vbar was ordered by the Local Court to pay the prosecutor’s costs in the amount of AUD 5,500. Liquor & Gaming NSW’s executive director of regulatory operations, Jane Lin, emphasized that the position of the ATM in Vbar was a clear breach of the Gaming Machines Regulation 2019.
Lin explained that the placement of ATMs is crucial in encouraging players to take a break and refrain from excessive spending. She also stated that her team will not tolerate violations of fundamental gambling harm minimization measures and any operators attempting to circumvent the legislation will face a strong enforcement response.
The Magistrate supported the regulator’s claim, agreeing that Vbar had indeed violated NSW’s regulations. This case serves as a reminder of the importance of abiding by gambling-related regulations to minimize harm and ensure responsible gambling practices.