National Gambling Reform Act 2012
The National Gambling Reform Act 2012 (the NGR Act), National Gambling Reform (Related Matters) Act (No.1) 2012, and National Gambling Reform (Related Matters) Act (No.2) 2012 were enacted on 12 December 2012.
The NGR Act provides three key measures to reduce the harm caused by gaming machines. These include implementing a $250 Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) withdrawal limit, and introducing pre-commitment systems and dynamic warning messaging requirements in all gaming venues nationally.
The NGR Act staggers the introduction of these measures over approximately a 10 year period. The first of these key measures, the introduction of a $250 ATM withdrawal limit, commences on 1 February 2014.
An Australian Gambling Research Centre within the Australian Institute of Family Studies is also established under the NGR Act.
The NGR Act also establishes a National Gambling Regulator (the Regulator) to administer the Acts and a Supervisory Levy to fund the administration of this national regime.
Proposed amendments to the National Gambling Reform Act 2012
The Australian Government is committed to amending the NGR Act to deliver on its commitment to a national venue-based voluntary pre-commitment programme and associated gaming machine capabilities to be introduced in realistic timeframes. The Government will be engaging with industry through the Industry Advisory Council, State and Territory Governments and other key stakeholders on the development, implementation and administration of these measures.
The Government is also committed to restoring State and Territory control over withdrawal limits on ATMs in gaming venues, and to abolish the Regulator and the Supervisory Levy.
However, until amendments to the NGR Act have been passed by Parliament, the Regulator is obligated to administer the current legislation. Visit the National Gambling Regulator page for more information.
ATM withdrawal limit
From 1 February 2014, the National Gambling Reform Act 2012 requires that automatic teller machines (ATMs) on gaming machine premises (other than casinos) must not allow a person to withdraw more than $250 cash in total, using any one card, within a 24 hour period from ATMs on those premises. An occupier of a gaming machine premises and the ATM provider are both responsible for ensuring the ATM is compliant with the withdrawal limit. For more information on this measure, go to our Frequently Asked Questions page.
An occupier of gaming machine premises may apply to the Regulator for the premises to be exempt from the ATM withdrawal limit by completing the approved form (link below). The Regulator may grant an exemption if satisfied that complying with the legislation would cause unreasonable inconvenience to members of the community where the gaming machine premises are located. Exemptions will only be granted in limited circumstances. Useful information on applying for an exemption is available on the ATM withdrawal limit page.
A copy of the guidelines used by the Regulator in assessing applications for exemption is also available.
Problem Gambling Website
Visit the problem gambling website for information about the prevalence and impacts of problem gambling in Australia.
Gambling Help Online
Visit the Gambling Help Online national website to find out more about free counselling, information and email service available to anyone seeking support for a gambling concern in a confidential environment 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You can get immediate assistance by calling the National Helpline for Problem Gambling on 1800 858 858 for free, professional and confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Financial counselling to support people affected by problem gambling
The Financial Counselling to Support People Affected by Problem Gambling initiative will provide funding over four years (to 30 June 2016) to support individuals affected by problem gambling. This initiative is part of the Commonwealth Financial Counselling service. Information about this initiative can be found on the Department’s Commonwealth Financial Counselling webpage.