Venues Ordered to Move or Screen Gaming Machines in Interconnected Rooms
SYDNEY, Australia (April 28, 2023) — Liquor & Gaming NSW has ordered the Gaslight Inn and The Colombian Hotel in Darlinghurst to move or screen gaming machines from interconnected rooms within the venues.
The venues were directed under section 44A of the Gaming Machines Act 2001 to prohibit them from effectively operating their gaming rooms together as one expanded gaming room.
Liquor & Gaming NSW Executive Director Regulatory Operations & Enforcement, Jane Lin, said the combined gaming rooms clearly circumvent the legislative limits around the number of machines allowed.
“Patrons at both venues are effectively being given direct access to 55 gaming machines instead of the legislated hotel maximum of 30 because of the interconnected rooms,” Ms Lin said.
“The existence of a door between the two gaming rooms serves the sole purpose of facilitating patrons to move from one gaming room to the other. This circumvents the gaming machine limits imposed on hotels, which exist as a harm minimisation measure.
Section 44A of the Gaming Machines Act allows a direction to be issued where gaming machines in venues are located in a manner that is designed to attract members of the public outside of the venue and is contrary to the public interest.
The Gaming Machines Regulation also requires gaming machines to be situated so that they cannot be seen from any place outside the hotel, that is used by the public or to which the public has access, including other licensed premises.
“The government and the community not only expect technical compliance with the state’s gambling laws, but for the spirit and intent of those laws to be met.,” Ms Lin said.
“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 who breach these laws can expect to face the full force of the law.”
GAMING MACHINES ACT 2001 – SECT 4 Definitions (austlii.edu.au)
Failure to comply with Liquor & Gaming NSW’s order carries a maximum penalty of $5,500.
The venues may apply to have the decisions reviewed by the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority.
SOURCE: Liquor & Gaming NSW (Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade).Tags: Liquor & Gaming NSW, screen gaming machines