A National Snapshot of Harm Minimisation Strategies

 

 

 

 

A National Snapshot of Harm Minimisation Strategies

Introduction 

State and Territory Governments have the primary responsibility for the regulation of gambling in Australia.

In the past decade State and Territory Governments have introduced a wide range of measures to reduce the incidence of gambling related harm through various mechanisms including:

  • Legislative and Regulatory changes; and
  • Voluntary or Mandatory Codes of Practice implemented and administered by government regulators and/or industry stakeholders.

In general over the past five years, States and Territories have spent more than $200 million on responsible gambling and harm minimisation. This includes telephone and face-to-face counselling services, public awareness and education, campaigning, research, intervention strategies, partnerships with community groups and support for individuals and families.

The regulatory environment

Providing a snapshot of harm minimisation measures in Australia is not an easy task. Regulatory and legislative environments across States and Territories differ considerably and are continually evolving. For example, New South Wales has made significant amendments to legislation governing the use and operation of gaming machines. In November 2009, the Tasmanian Parliament passed a number of legislative amendments in response to a social and economic impact study into gambling.

This is largely a reflection of the history of the legalisation of gambling in each state and territory and the specific political context at the time. For example New South Wales has had electronic gaming machines in clubs since the 1950s, whereas in Victoria they were introduced as late as 1992. In Western Australia electronic gaming machines are confined to the Burswood Casino

Money Management 

All states and territories have a range of mechanisms in place to support players to gamble within their monetary limits.

Access to credit

All States and Territories prohibit gambling operators from offering credit to a patron for the purposes of gambling. In addition, some jurisdictions have a ban on cash advances from credit cards through ATM facilities in their venues.

Cashing of cheques

Jurisdictions have a number of restrictions on the cashing of cheques in gambling venues.  For example, in NSW gaming venues cannot exchange a cheque for cash unless the cheque is made payable to the venue. A restriction of one transaction per day for no more than $400 is in place. These provisions also stop a third party cheque being endorsed by payee to gaming venue.

Restricted access to ATMs and EFTPOS

ATMs and EFTPOS facilities are not permitted in gaming areas of pubs, clubs and casinos across Australia.

Tasmania is the only state that currently prohibits ATMs in hotels and club gambling venues, however Victoria has enacted legislation to take effect from 1 July 2012 that will also remove ATMs from gambling venues.

Limits on withdrawals from ATMs

The Northern Territory, Victoria and South Australia have limited the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from ATMs at gambling venues to $200 per transaction per card.

In addition to Tasmanian hotels and clubs, Tasmania is exploring potential options for a new mandatory code of practice to be established by the Gaming Commission to limit EFTPOS transactions to one transaction for gaming per day in the two casinos. This follows legislative amendments in 2009, expanding the Gaming Commission’s power to extend the current restriction.

In Victoria, ATMs are prohibited in gaming venues, or within 50 metres of an entrance to the gaming area of the Melbourne casino, unless withdrawals are limited to $400 per card per 24 hour period.  The same restriction applies to ATMs within 40 metres of the casino gaming area in WA.

Certain winnings to be paid by cheque

In all states and territories there is some provision for paying certain gaming winnings by cheque.  In the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales it is mandatory that electronic gaming machine winnings over $1,200 and $2,000 respectively be paid by cheque.  In NSW winnings can also be made by means of electronic transfer of funds to an account nominated by the prize winner.  In the Northern Territory and Queensland winnings over a certain amount must be paid by cheque; the amounts vary from $250 to $2,000. 

In Tasmania, the prohibition of cashing of winning cheques on the day they are won is now in place. Options for a new mandatory code to be established by the Gaming Commission in relation to limiting the cash payout from gaming machines and keno to $1,000 (above this amount is to be paid by cheque) are also being explored. 

In Victoria, accumulated credits from gaming machines of $1,000 or more must be paid by cheque.  Accumulated credits under $1,000 must be paid by cheque if requested by the patron.

Cashless / card-based gaming

Clubs, hotels and the casino in New South Wales have approved ticket-in, ticket-out technology whilst clubs and hotels in the Australian Capital Territory have been approved for ticket-out only.

Queensland has conducted three trials of pre-commitment card-based gaming systems with approval for a voluntary roll-out of the systems.  To date pre-commitment card-based gaming is operational across 47 gambling venues in Queensland with two of these sites approved for full cashless card-based gaming.  The other venues are using a combination of cash and card play.

Queensland’s card-based gaming trials also feature pre-commitment tools that allow users to set loss, expenditure and time limits.

Pre-commitment Tools

South Australia is implementing trials of systems that allow patrons to set monetary and time limits on their gambling. These systems track player behaviour to notify the patron, and potentially the venue, if limits are exceeded. They can also provide a record of gambling behaviour to the patron and, with consent, to gambling help services. This work is in its early development stages, but it offers direct support to patrons who want to better manage their gambling expenditure.

New South Wales has provision for pre-commitment on loss limits on cashless / card-based gambling only.

In Victoria all next generation gaming machines will have to have a pre-commitment mechanism that allows a player to pre-set time and loss limits from 2010. Victoria will mandate pre-commitment mechanisms on all gaming machines from 2013 and a more stringent pre-commitment regime will be rolled out in 2015-1016.

Tasmania provides for pre-commitment for internet-based gambling operators, such as Betfair.

Structural Characteristics and Machine Design 

Caps on number of electronic gaming machines
  Restrictions
  Clubs / hotels Casinos Total
ACT 5,200 N/A^ 5,200
NSW 99,000 1,500 100,500
NT 1,190 Nil* 2,195
QLD 44,015 Limited by ratio of tables to gaming machines 44,015**
SA 12,900*** 995**** 13,895
TAS 2,500 Nil 3,680*****
VIC 27,500 and regional caps in 20 regions^^ 2,500 30,000
WA N/A 1,750 1,750

*     Machine numbers in NT casinos limited by regulatory approval process.
**   This total does not include approved machines in casinos, currently sitting at 3,796. There is no formal cap on Casino gaming machines.
***  Declining to 12,118 through forfeiture requirements in the approved trading system.
**** Determined by formula relating to the number of club and hotel gaming machines.
***** State-wide cap on total gaming machines. The cap excludes gaming machines operated on vessels operated by the Trans Tasman-Line.
^     The casino in the ACT is prohibited from operating electronic gaming machines.
^^  A maximum density of ten gaming machines per 1,000 adults for all municipalities, not covered by a regional cap (except for Melbourne CBD, Docklands and Southbank) also applies. 

Maximum density of gaming machines in all municipal areas to be capped at 10 per 1,000 adults by 2010.

Rate of loss – bet and win limits

Bet limits are in place in hotels and clubs across all jurisdictions, these range from $5.00 to $10.00.  The Tasmanian Gaming Commission recently approved amendments to the Tasmanian Appendix to the Australian and New Zealand Gaming Machine National Standard to reduce bet limits from $10 to $5 per spin in all gaming venues effective for new games from 1 April 2010.  Existing games are to be updated by 30 June 2013.  New South Wales has a bet limit of $100 for multi-terminal gaming machines in clubs.  Most casinos do not have a bet limit.  At the NSW casino the bet limit is the same as for hotels and clubs unless the gaming machine is in a private gaming area, in which case there is no bet limit.  Victoria has a gaming machine bet limit of $5 ($10 at the Melbourne casino, except on machines in a specified area).  Western Australia has a range of bet limits depending on the game. 

Win limits are in place in hotels and clubs in New South Wales ($10,000 for a stand alone gaming machine, $125,000 for inter-venue linked gaming machines, and $100,000 for multi-terminal gaming machines).  Queensland ($10,000, for stand alone machines), and South Australia ($10,000).  There are no win limits in casinos for non-jackpot prizes.

Note acceptors

In South Australia note acceptors are prohibited in gaming machines.  Tasmania and the Northern Territory have banned note acceptors in both pubs and clubs, but not in casinos.  The Tasmanian Gaming Commission has approved amendments to the Tasmanian Appendix to the Australian and New Zealand Gaming Machine National Standard  to reduce the maximum machine cash input limit for note acceptors from $9,899 to $500 effective from 1 April 2010 for new games, and by 30 June 2013 for existing games.  Other states and territories, aside from New South Wales, have placed limits on the maximum denomination of notes accepted.

These range from $20 in Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory and $50 in Victoria to $100 in Western Australia. 

Display of odds and return to player

Odds are displayed for gaming machines in clubs, hotels and casinos across all jurisdictions. The minimum return to player ranges from 85% to 92% in clubs, hotels and casinos.

The Gambling Environment 

Provisions for exclusion / self exclusion

All jurisdictions have provisions for self exclusion.  In New South Wales, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory it is mandatory for a venue to have self-exclusion schemes in place.  The Australian Capital Territory also places statutory responsibility on gambling venue licensees to exclude a person where the licensee has reasonable grounds for believing that the welfare of the person, or any of the person’s dependants, is seriously at risk because of the person’s gambling problem. 

It is an offence in Queensland for gambling providers to distribute promotional material to known excluded persons. 

In Tasmania, people can be excluded from gaming in a number of different ways – self-exclusion, third-party exclusion, venue operator exclusion and exclusion by the Commissioner of Police.  Self-exclusion is available from TOTE and Betfair activities. 

In Victoria, from December 2008 it has been a condition of a venue operator’s licence to have a self exclusion program.  Venue operators must have their self-exclusion program approved by the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation (VCGR) by 1 June 2009. 

In South Australia, the Independent Gambling Authority has conducted an inquiry into exclusion provisions.  A report was released in September 2009.

In Western Australia, self exclusion is available at the Burswood Casino and all TAB agencies.

Clocks to be displayed

All jurisdictions other than Western Australia require clocks to be displayed either on the gaming machine or within the gaming area. Clocks have been installed on a voluntary basis in the casino in Western Australia.

Limitations on 24 hour gaming in pubs and clubs

All jurisdictions have some enforced break in gaming operations in pubs and clubs (Western Australia does not have gaming machines outside of the casino).  The period of the enforced break in operation over a 24 hour period ranges from three to six hours.  This is legislated in all states and territories. 

In Tasmania the limitation on 24 hour gambling for hotels and clubs is specified in the Tasmanian Gaming Commission Rules.  Disciplinary action can be taken against a venue which does not comply with Commission Rules.  South Australia is planning to impose additional responsibilities on late trading venues.  NSW research has found that the shutdown period was effective.

Requirement for proper lighting

The Australian Capital Territory and Victoria have requirements for proper lighting in gambling venues.  It should be noted that the ability to provide natural light in gambling venues is inhibited in some cases by licensing conditions which state that gaming machines must not be visible from public thoroughfares.

In Western Australia, developments to the Burswood Entertainment Complex now provide for natural lighting in areas of the approved gaming floor.

In Tasmania, the introduction of minimum lighting standards is currently being explored as part of a mandatory code of practice to be established by the Gaming Commission under its recently expanded rule making powers. 

Options for a new mandatory code of practice are also being explored by the Gaming Commission in relation to:

  • advertising gambling products;
  • player loyalty programs;
  • inducements that may lead to problem gambling behaviour;
  • clocks in gaming areas;
  • further restrictions on access to cash; and
  • improved signage.

Advertising restrictions

All states and territories have restrictions on advertising related to gaming machines.  The nature of the restrictions varies across jurisdictions.  For example, in some states and territories advertising restrictions apply to all gambling products; while in others they apply only to gaming machines.

Restrictions on player loyalty systems / programs

The Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, South Australia and Victoria have restrictions on player loyalty systems/programs. For example, in some states cash cannot be offered as a prize, participants are able to limit time play and net loss, and excluded persons are prohibited from participating.

Promotions and inducement restrictions

Gambling related inducements are banned in New South Wales, the Northern Territory and South Australia (from December 2008.)

In NSW gaming machine venues are prohibited from offering free or discounted liquor, or free credits, as inducements for people to play gaming machines. Action may also be taken against individual promotions or inducements offered by a club or hotel that offend responsible gambling practices.

Prize restrictions

In NSW there are restrictions on the value and nature of prizes and bonuses that can be offered to market gaming machines. These apply to all promotional, reward, loyalty or bonus schemes. There is a prohibition on any promotional or loyalty prizes by cash and prizes cannot be exchanged for cash. The limit of the value of a prize is $1,000. Bonus points cannot be converted to cash.

Minors banned from gaming machine areas

Minors are not permitted in gaming areas across Australia.  Penalties are in place for the individual, venue operator and staff.  In Tasmania, legislative amendments which took effect in 2009 have created a new offence to apply to special employees (For definition of “special employee” see Tasmanian Gaming Control Act 1993, Section 49) for allowing minors to enter or remain in a restricted gaming area. 

Ban on smoking in gaming areas

Smoking is not permitted in gaming areas in all states and territories except Western Australia and Queensland.  The Northern Territory has a provision for smoking only in the high roller rooms of the casino.  In Western Australia smoking is banned in all casino gaming areas other than those in the international gaming facility.  Queensland and Victoria currently allow smoking in the premium gaming areas of their casinos.  In NSW the smoke-free environment laws apply to all enclosed venues, including all areas of a club or hotel since July 2007.  NSW only allows smoking in a private gaming area of the casino.

Staff training in responsible gambling

All states and territories except Western Australia have mandated for staff training in responsible gambling. 

Queensland has mandated staff training on the responsible service of gambling for hotel and club staff who carry out gaming duties or gaming tasks.  Practical implementation of mandatory training will commence in October 2010.

In Western Australia the Casino Licensee has voluntarily introduced responsible service of gambling training for all staff. 

In Tasmania, options are being explored by the Gaming Commission to enhance the existing Responsible Conduct of Gaming course, focusing on problem gambler identification and appropriate intervention.  Consultation on the content of the enhanced course begins in 2010, with the new course expected to be operating by 1 July 2011.

Ban on gambling products that undermine a responsible gambling objective

In Victoria from 1 March 2009, the Minister for Gaming is able to ban a gambling product or practice that the Minister considers undermines a responsible gambling objective of the Gambling Regulation Act 2003.

Educational, Public Awareness Programs and Treatment Services

In addition to harm minimisation strategies, State and Territory Governments also fund a range of gambling help services, prevention and community education programs.

Public awareness

All states and territories provide information on problem gambling, through:

  • gambling awareness weeks
  • gambling websites
  • media campaigns
  • problem gambling information materials (provided in various languages), and
  • school education materials on problem gambling.

Treatment Services

All states and territories provide treatment services for problem gamblers. These include the national gambling hotline number (1800 858 858) which links to state gambling hotlines and face to face counselling (including the option of financial counselling).

All jurisdictions have also collaborated on a national website for the online treatment of problem gamblers. The service, launched on 8 October 2009, provides online 24-hour, seven day a week counselling for problem gamblers. In Tasmania, a review is underway to evaluate the effectiveness of the gambling support helpline.

Interstate Comparison Table - Harm Minimisation Strategies - as at 30 April 2010

Ban on credit gambling
ACT      Yes.
NSW Yes.
NT Yes, credit gambling is prohibited.
QLD

Yes, Gaming Machine Act 1991 (GMA) states that a licensee or employee must not make a loan or extend credit.

The Casino Control Act 1982 (CCA) provides that a casino operator must not extend credit in any form to any person in connection with any gaming.

Equivalent provisions banning credit gambling under the Keno Act 1996, Wagering Act 1998, Interactive Gambling (Player Protection) Act 1998 &Charitable &Non-profit Gaming Act 1999.

SA Yes.
TAS Yes, prohibited in clubs, hotels and casinos under Gaming Control Act 1993, Tasmanian Gaming Commission Rules and Gambling Industry Group Code of Practice.
VIC Yes.
WA

Yes, for casino.

No EGMs in hotels and clubs


Limitations on 24 hour gambling (not for casinos)
ACT      Yes, enforced break of 5 hours.
NSW Yes, enforced daily break in gaming machine operations in clubs/hotels of a specified 6 hours per day 4am to 10am. Venues can seek approval to close for only 3 hours on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Legislative amendments allow venues to apply for approval to close for only 3 hours on other days, on grounds of hardship, subject to guidelines.
NT Yes, for hotels and clubs - limited to trading hours. Gaming is banned under legislation between 4.00am and 10.00am daily and no gaming permitted Christmas Day and Good Friday.
QLD

Yes, there are no 24 hour hotel and club operators.

No gaming Christmas Day, Good Friday or before 1pm on Anzac Day.

Machine gaming has not been permitted to commence before 10am since 1 January 2009. Club and hotel operators are not permitted to operate gaming machines after midnight without first seeking a special licence to do so. These licenses are issued on a yearly basis.

SA

Yes, for hotels and clubs - compulsory break in trading times for 6 hours a day.

Additional responsibilities for late trading venues planned.

TAS The Tasmanian Gaming Commission Rules, July 2008, stipulate that gaming facilities can only be operated at the licensed premises for a maximum of 20 hours within any 24 hour period. There must be at least four continuous hours each day when gaming machines and/or keno are not in use.
VIC Yes, for hotels and clubs - 20 hours max unless approved for 24 hour trading but there are no 24 hour gaming venues other than the Melbourne Casino.
WA No – with the exception of Good Friday, Christmas Day and the morning of Anzac Day.

Restricted access to ATMs and EFTPOS
ACT     

Yes, ATMs and EFTPOS facilities are prohibited in gambling areas.
EFTPOS facilities are permitted in the restaurant and bar area of the casino.  However patrons are only allowed to pay for food and beverages using an EFTPOS debit facility.  Cash advances or access to credit from any EFTPOS facility in the casino is prohibited.

NSW Yes, not permitted in gaming machine areas of clubs/hotels. No access to cash from a credit card account from ATMs or EFTPOS facilities.
NT Yes, for hotels, clubs and casinos. Cannot be sited within gaming area. Limit of amount of cash withdrawals and no access to credit facilities.
QLD

Yes, GMA provides that ATMs and EFTPOS are not permitted in, or close to, gaming areas.

ATMs must only be available for the use of debit cards.

SA

Yes, not in gaming areas.

Withdrawals from ATM or EFTPOS limited to $200 per transaction per card.

TAS

Yes, ATMs are banned from gaming venues, EFTPOS limited to one transaction for gaming per day.

Legislative amendments passed in November 2009 have expanded the Tasmanian Gaming Commission's rule making power to extend the current restriction on EFTPOS transactions from hotels and clubs to the two casinos.

New mandatory codes are being developed in relation to this matter.

No access to credit accounts or credit cards.

VIC

Yes, casino:
Legislation places a $200 limit per transaction per card and no cash advances from a credit account on facilities within 50m of any entrance to the casino. From 1 Jan 2010 ATMs in casino or within 50m of entrance to casino must not dispense more than $400 on any one debit or credit card within a 24hr period. From 2012, ATMs will be prohibited within 50m of an entrance to the casino gaming floor.

Yes, hotels and clubs:
VCGR Rules state that ATM and EFTPOS facilities must not be accessible by any person within the gaming machine area of an approved venue for the purposes of withdrawing cash. Legislation places a $200 limit per transaction per card and no cash advances from credit accounts. From 1 Jan 2012 ATMs in any part of an approved venue must not dispense more that $400 on any one debit or credit card within a 24hr period.

WA

N/A for hotels and clubs.

Yes, for casino.

ATM's are not permitted to be located on the gaming floor areas. The Gaming and Wagering Commission prohibits the placement of ATMs in the area covered by the casino gaming licence, and within 40 metres of any entrance to the gaming floor, unless the ATM has a daily withdrawal limit of $400. EPTPOS withdrawals within the licensed gaming area is only available at the Main Cage and have had credit access disabled so patrons cannot access funds through any credit account.


Provisions for exclusion / self exclusion
ACT      Yes, mandatory Code of Practice requires all gambling venue licensees to offer self-exclusion. There is also a statutory responsibility on gambling venue licensees to exclude a person where the licensee has reasonable grounds for believing that the welfare of the person, or any of the person's dependants, is seriously at risk because of the person's gambling problem.
NSW

Yes, legal waiver provided for clubs/hotels since 2000.

From 2 Oct 2002, compulsory for clubs/hotels to have a self-exclusion arrangement in place.

Casino has exclusion and self-exclusion schemes.

NT Yes, application forms are to be available at reception, within gambling area, adjacent to gambling products.
QLD

Yes. The Gaming Machine Act 1991 provides for self-exclusion provisions and provides gaming machine licensees with a power to exclude any person that a licensee believes on reasonable grounds is a problem gambler.

Legislative requirement under Part 10 of the Casino Control Act 1982 for self-exclusion provisions and provides casino operators and managers with a power  to exclude any person that an operator or manager believes on reasonable grounds is a problem gambler.

It is an  offence under the Gaming Machine Act, Casino Control Act, Interactive Gambling (Player Protection) Act, Keno Act and Wagering Act for promotional material to be distributed to excluded persons. A maximum penalty of 40 penalty units (ie $4000) applies.

Venues with gaming machines need to correlate their exclusions database with their promotions.

SA

Yes, both in-venue and voluntarily through the Independent Gambling Authority.

The Independent Gambling Authority has conducted an inquiry into exclusion provisions. Government is considering the recommendations.

TAS

Yes, self-exclusion possible, as well as exclusion by venue operator, Gaming Commission (through third-party applications) and Commissioner of Police.

Changes to the gambling exclusions scheme for self-excluded gamblers are expected to be implemented during the latter half of 2010.

VIC

Yes, for casino.

From 1 June 2009, clubs and hotels must have a self-exclusion program that has been approved by the VCGR.

WA

N/A for hotels and clubs.

Yes, for casino. The Casino Control Act provides that the Casino Licensee or Commissioner of Police can issue a written direction prohibited entry to the casino. The Casino Licensee also maintains a voluntary self exclusion program for those persons who are identified as potentially at risk of harm.


Clocks to be displayed
ACT      Yes, required under the mandatory Code of Practice.
NSW Yes, compulsory for clubs, hotels and casino.
NT Yes, contained in mandatory Northern Territory Code of Practice for Responsible Gambling.
QLD

Section 4.7 of the voluntary QLD Responsible Gambling Code of Practice states that gambling providers are to implement practices to ensure that customers are made aware of the passage of time.

Queensland Communication (QCOM) protocol 1.6 requirement that all QCOM 1.6 compliant EGMs must have the ability to display a clock to be located either in the top right hand side of the EGM's primary display or in the bottom left hand corner of EGM's primary display.

SA Yes.
TAS Yes, a new  mandatory code of practice requiring the display of clocks on walls is being developed.
VIC Yes, regulations provide for a clock on each EGM in hotels, clubs and casinos.
WA

N/A for hotels and clubs.

No requirement for casino although clocks have been installed around the gaming floor areas on voluntary basis.


Staff training in responsible gambling
ACT      Yes, required under the mandatory Code of Practice.
NSW Yes, compulsory for clubs, hotels and casino.
NT Yes, contained in mandatory Northern Territory Code of Practice for Responsible Gambling.
QLD

Yes, training on the Responsible Service of Gambling (RSG) is mandatory for club and hotel employees who carry out gaming duties or gaming tasks.

This requirement will become mandatory in October 2010.

SA Yes, Mandatory Code of Practice
TAS

Yes, compulsory Responsible Conduct of Gaming training.

Gaming venue staff are given a refresher of some aspects of Responsible Conduct of Gaming training, as part of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week.

Enhancements to the Responsible Conduct of Gaming (RCG) course with a specific focus on problem gambler identification and appropriate intervention are being developed.

VIC Yes, gaming industry employees who are working in the gaming machine area of an approved venue or the casino must complete an approved training course within six months after starting employment and a refresher course at least once every three years thereafter.
WA

N/A for hotels and clubs.

Yes, for casino. Burswood Entertainment Complex has a compulsory staff training requirement. Staff can then be nominated for further training so that they can respond appropriately to patrons with specific gaming related issues.


Certain winnings to be paid by cheque
ACT      Yes, under the mandatory Code of Practice. Maximum cash payout for winnings for gaming machines is $1,200 and cash limits also apply to other forms of gambling.
NSW

Yes, for clubs and hotels.

Compulsory for amounts over $2,000 (changed from $1,000 on 19 May 2006). Also applies to that portion of the prize under $2,000, where requested by club/hotel patron. Winnings can also be made by means of electronic transfer of funds to an account nominated by the prize winner.

For casino, operator must notify winner of a prize above $2,000 of capacity for prize to be paid by cheque and, where requested, pay the prize by cheque.

A prize winning cheque must be clearly marked with the words ‘Prize winning cheque – cashing rules apply'.

NT Yes, over $500.00 in hotels and clubs or if requested by player.
QLD

Yes, over $250.00 in hotels and clubs unless a higher cash payment limit is approved. Such a limit would not normally exceed $1,000.

Available in casinos where requested by the patron.

SA Yes, under the Mandatory Code of Practice cheques can be requested for payouts over $1,000.
TAS

Yes, recent legislative amendments have expanded the Tasmanian Gaming Commission’s rule making power in relation to access to cash.  The prohibition on cashing of winning cheques on the day they are won is now in place. A new mandatory code is being developed in relation to setting a maximum cash payout of $1,000 for winnings from gaming machines and keno (above this amount must be paid by cheque.)

VIC Yes, accumulated credits on a gaming machine of $1,000 or more must be paid out in full by cheque that is not payable to cash. The casino operator must not pay out accumulated winnings in excess of $2,000 in cash (this does not apply to certain gaming machines in specified areas of the casino). Credits must be paid by cheque if requested by a patron; a cheque cannot be exchanged for cash or gaming tokens.
WA

N/A for hotels and clubs.

In the casino, patrons may request winnings in the form of a cheque for any amount. Approved procedures detail the process for the issue of a winner's cheque.

AUSTRAC reporting requirements apply.


Ban on smoking, eating and drinking in gaming areas
ACT      There are no restrictions on food or drinks in gambling areas of licensed venues. Smoking is however not permitted at the casino or in the gaming machine areas of clubs and hotels.
NSW

No ban for eating and drinking.

Smoke-free Environment law applies (Health initiative).

Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed areas of clubs, hotels and the casino except in a private gaming area.

NT

Ban on smoking in all indoor areas except high roller rooms.

Ban for outdoor eating and drinking areas to take effect from 2 Jan 2011 – some capacity for liquor licensed premises to have some outdoor smoking with strict conditions from 2 Jan 2011.

QLD Smoking ban in eating areas of hotels and clubs and main casino floor (table games but premium gaming rooms exempted). Total ban on smoking inside venues under Health Act from 1 July 2006. Casino premium gaming rooms exempt under the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998.
SA

No, for eating and drinking.

From 1 Nov 2007, complete ban on smoking.

TAS

No, for eating and drinking.

Legislated ban on smoking in gaming areas from 1 Jan 2005.

Recent legislative amendments have expanded the Tasmanian Gaming Commission’s power to establish a mandatory code of practice.   A new mandatory code is being developed in relation to  attendant service of alcohol and food in public gaming areas between the hours of 9pm and close of gaming operations each day.

VIC

No, for eating and drinking.

Yes, for smoking. Banned in all gaming areas of the casino (except in a declared smoking area) and in the gaming machine area of approved venues (clubs and hotels).

WA Casino is now smoke free, with the exception of the international gaming facilities and associated private gaming room. Eating and drinking permitted.

Requirement for proper lighting
ACT      Yes, the mandatory Code of Practice requires there to be adequate lighting so that clocks and signage are clearly visible.
NSW No.
NT Mandatory Northern Territory Code of Practice for Responsible Gambling requires it where possible.
QLD No - natural light could conflict with licence conditions whereby EGMs must not be visible from public thoroughfares.
SA No gaming specific requirements.
TAS Yes, a  new mandatory code relating to minimum lighting standards is being developed.   
VIC Yes, regulations in place to provide for proper lighting.
WA

N/A for hotels and clubs.

The casino provides for natural lighting in areas of the approved gaming floor.

Adequate lighting required in Casino to enable clear camera coverage in all areas, gaming tables and pits inclusive, where closed circuit camera coverage is required.


On-site problem gambling assistance or referral
ACT      Yes, referral.
NSW Yes, referral.
NT Yes, referral.
QLD Yes, Gaming Machine Act and Casino Control Act require venues to provide contact details of gambling counselling services to a person who initiates self exclusion.  Queensland casino operators have appropriately trained and qualified RSG officers on site.  Help services and information regarding risks of gambling displayed at gaming venues as per voluntary requirement in Code of Practice and a customer liaison officer to provide assistance.
SA

Yes, referral.

Incentives for licensees to have a management relationship with a gambling help service.

TAS Yes, posters and brochures.
VIC Yes, referral.
WA

N/A for hotels and clubs.

Yes, for casino. The Casino Licensee has appropriately trained and qualified RSG officers on site. The Casino also provides an on-site counsellor. Brochures, posters and gaming information terminals in the casino also provide referral information.


Service of alcohol in gaming areas
ACT      Permitted.
NSW Yes.
NT Permitted.
QLD

Under Voluntary Code of Practice licensees must take all practicable steps to:

  • prevent a person who appears to be intoxicated from being allowed to gamble.
  • prevent an intoxicated person from entering a gambling area or remaining there.
  • ensure that alcohol is not supplied to reward, promote or encourage continued gambling.

A person is not to be served alcohol while seated or standing at a gaming machine.

Casinos:
Section 65C of the Casino Control Act restricts a casino operator from providing liquor in gaming areas unless approved.

Gold Coast and Brisbane Casino: Alcohol served to gaming tables in private high roller gaming areas.

Cairns Casino:
Alcohol served on all gaming floors.

Townsville Casino: No alcohol served to gaming areas.

SA

Yes, Mandatory Code of Practice.

Licensees must take all practicable steps to:

  • prevent a person who appears to be intoxicated from being allowed to gamble.
  • prevent an intoxicated person from entering a gambling area or remaining there.
  • ensure that alcohol is not supplied to reward, promote or encourage continued gambling.
A person is not to be served alcohol while seated or standing at a gaming machine.
TAS Yes, limitations on serving gaming to people appearing to be intoxicated through the GIG voluntary code of practice.
VIC Yes, it is an offence for a venue operator to knowingly allow a person who is in a state of intoxication to play a gaming machine. The Act includes a definition of intoxication.
WA Permitted in accordance with Liquor Control Act.

Restrictions on entry
ACT     

Yes – minors and excluded persons are not permitted in gambling areas and intoxicated persons are not permitted to gamble.

Clubs are only permitted to allow members and invited guests to play gaming machines.

NSW Yes - based on age, dress, intoxication, excluded persons.
NT Minors not permitted in gaming area. No direct street access to gaming area. Patrons must first enter main licensed area before accessing gaming area.
QLD Yes – minors and excluded persons are not permitted in gambling areas (legislated).
Persons may be restricted entry at the discretion of the licensee.
SA Based on age, dress, intoxication, excluded persons.
TAS

Yes. Special employees are prohibited from allowing minors to enter or remain in a restricted gaming area. 

VIC Based on age, dress, intoxication, excluded persons.
WA Yes, Casino Control Act and Liquor Control Act. Restrictions based on age, intoxication and exclusions.

Restrictions on minors and penalties: • Venue operator • Staff • Adult supervisor
ACT      Minors are not permitted to gamble or enter gambling areas. There are penalties on licensees and persons using false identification.
NSW Yes, for all three.
NT

Minors not permitted in gaming areas.

Penalties apply to venue operator and minor.

QLD

In casinos, minors are not permitted within the licensed gaming area of the casino during operation hours.

A maximum of 100 penalty units ($100,000) for a casino operator who allows a minor within a casino.

Casino employees and casino agent who allows or does not remove a minor from the premises is liable for 40 penalty units ($4,000).

Keno operators are liable for 40 penalty units ($4000) if they allow a minor to participate in keno gaming.

In clubs and hotels, minors are not permitted to operate a gaming machine on licensed premises. Maximum penalty for minor 25 penalty units ($2,500), maximum penalty for licensee or licensee's nominee 250 penalty units ($25,000) or another person 40 penalty units ($4,000).

Penalties have increased from maximum 10 penalty units ($1,000) to 25 penalty units for a minor participating in casino or keno gaming. New penalties (25 penalty units) were introduced in October 2009 for minors who participate in lottery or wagering activities.

SA

Minors must not be employed in gaming operations, maximum penalty $10,000 or imprisonment for 6 months.

Minors are not permitted in designated gaming areas or operate a gaming machine on licensed premises. Maximum penalty for minor $2,500, maximum penalty for licensee and manager on duty $10,000.

A licensee or an approved gaming machine manager who permits a minor to enter or remain in a gaming area of the licensed premises, or to operate a gaming machine on the premises faces a maximum penalty of $20,000.

TAS

Minors must not enter or remain in a restricted area (10 penalty units). Minors must not participate in gaming (20 penalty units).

Venue operator is guilty of an offence if minor enters restricted gaming area (20 penalty units) and must not allow minor to participate in gaming (20 penalty units).

Person must not place a wager on behalf of a minor (20 penalty units).

Note: penalty units are reviewed annually in line with CPI, as from July 2008. Current value is $120.

Penalties for gaming to be aligned with those for liquor licensing following legislative amendments passed by the Tasmanian Parliament in November 2009.

VIC In 2008, the Gambling Legislation Amendment (Responsible Gambling and Other Measures Act) 2008 consolidated offences relating to gambling by minors and provided a new objective in the Gambling Regulation Act to “ensure that minors are neither encouraged to gamble nor allowed to do so”. All the new provisions, including the new objective, come into force on 1 June 2009.
WA

Yes, Casino Control Act.

Minor (under the age of 18 years) must not enter or remain in casino.

Penalty:
Licensee - $5,000
Offender - $500

Minor participating in gaming in casino

Penalty:
Licensee - $5,000
Offender - $1,000


Staff licensed
ACT      Yes, all gambling staff must be licensed.
NSW Yes, for casino  special employees – e.g. those involved in gaming, movement or change of chips or money, operation or maintenance of gaming equipment, casino security, supervision of gaming, or in managerial capacity at the casino.  After changes to the Casino Control Act in May 2010, special employees are licensed against a certificate of competency issued by the casino operator, to standards set by the Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority.
NT Yes.
QLD

Yes.

The Casino Control Act requires a person working in a casino to be licensed as either a key casino employee or casino employee depending on the nature of their duties and responsibilities.

The Gaming Machine Act 1991 requires persons performing certain gaming duties or functions, or having certain gaming related responsibilities, to be licensed.

SA Licensees of venues are required to seek the approval of a person who performs certain duties in a gaming area as either a gaming machine manager or gaming machine employee (depending on the duties performed by the person).
TAS Yes, all staff licensed.
VIC Yes, those that perform duties of a gaming industry employee as defined in the Gambling Regulation Act. Duties are prescribed in the Gambling Regulation Regulations 2005.
WA

Yes, for casino gaming.

Casino staff employed or working in a licensed casino whose duties or responsibilities relate to or are in support of the licensed casino, but does not include casino key employee must be licensed as Casino Employees.

Casino employees employed or working in a licensed casino in a managerial capacity or empowered to make decisions, involving the exercise of his discretion, that regulate the operation of a licensed casino, or who the GWC determines in the public interest by reason of his influence.


Ban on note acceptors
ACT      $100 and $50 notes banned.
NSW No.
NT

Yes, for hotels and clubs.

No, for casinos.

QLD Limited to $20 notes, however legislative amendments were passed in October 2009 to provide for a maximum denomination for gaming machine note acceptors in casinos, clubs and hotels to be prescribed in a regulation. (Regulation yet to be made)
SA Yes.
TAS

Yes, for hotels and clubs.

No, for casinos.  However, the maximum cash input limit for note acceptors has been reduced from $9,899 to $500 for new machines. Existing machines must be adapted by 30 June 2013.

VIC $100 note acceptors banned except for gaming machines located in areas specified by the VCGR.
WA

N/A for hotels and clubs.

Casino – Note acceptors limited to $100.


Cashless / card-based gaming
ACT     

Ticket-out approved.

N/A for casino.

NSW Yes, from 2 April 2002, card-based gaming machines allowed in clubs and hotels, subject to conditions. Since 23 February 2007 approval for Ticket In Ticket Out (TITO) technology to operate on standalone gaming machines in clubs and hotels. Ticket out operates in the casino.
NT No, for hotels, clubs and casino.
QLD

A number of card-based gaming (CBG) trials have been conducted and approval has been given for a voluntary roll-out with CBG pre-commitment operational in 47 sites to date. Two sites are approved for full cashless CBG. Remaining venues are using a combination of cash and card play.

QLD has developed detailed guidelines for the approval of CBG systems.

Pre-commitment to both money and time was a major feature of both trials.

SA

No.

Report of inquiry conducted by IGA (June 2005)
(www.iga.sa.gov.au)

TAS No.
VIC Not available in hotels and clubs.
WA

N/A for hotels and clubs.

No, for casino.


Pre-commitment - loss limits
ACT     

No.

N/A for casino.

NSW

Is possible in regard to card-based gaming, but not otherwise.

No, for casino.

NT No.
QLD

The CBG systems operational in QLD allow players to set the following limits – 1) maximum account limit; 2) transfer limit per session; and 3) a maximum net loss expenditure per day/session limit.

It is likely pre-commitment features would be a part of any approved card-based gaming system.

SA

Trials of pre-commitment and player tracking have been conducted, with some trials still in progress.  Can set limits based on loss expenditure and time.

Being evaluated by the Responsible Gambling Working Party.

TAS Pre-commitment limits are provided for internet-based gambling operators, such as Betfair.
VIC

No, for pubs and clubs.

In Victoria all next generation gaming machines will have to have a pre-commitment mechanism that allows a player to pre-set time and loss limits from 2010. Victoria will mandate pre-commitment mechanisms on all gaming machines from 2013 and a more stringent pre-commitment regime will be rolled out in 2015-2016.

Available for casino loyalty club members only.

WA

No.

N/A for hotels and clubs.


Enforced player breaks
ACT     

No, for hotels, taverns and clubs.

N/A for casino.

NSW

No, IPART recommended that pop-up messages appear every 60 minutes. Research into the content of the messages has been finalised and consideration of the way forward is occurring.

No, for casino.

NT No.
QLD No, Sections 4.3 and 4.8 of voluntary QLD Responsible Gambling Code of Practice provide that service of alcohol on gambling provider's premises is managed in such a way as to encourage customers to take breaks in play and gambling providers are to implement practices to ensure that customers are discouraged from participating in extended, intensive and repetitive play.
SA No.
TAS No.
VIC No.
WA

N/A for hotels and clubs.

No, for casino.


Limitations on frequency of games
ACT      No.
NSW No.
NT No, specific NT requirements conform to national standards version 9.
QLD

Yes, Section 3.34 of QLD Appendix to Australian/New Zealand Gaming Machine National Standard requires the time between the start of a play and the end of a play must be at least 3 seconds.

SA New games must not have a spin rate less than 3.5 seconds, or for games without reels, a bet cannot be placed more than 17 times per minute.
TAS Yes, minimum spin rate of games 3 seconds on all games.
VIC Games must not have a spin rate of less than 2.14 seconds, except for certain machines located in specified areas of the casino
WA

N/A for hotels and clubs.

Yes, for casino. Max game speed provided in WA Appendix to EGM National Standards. No spin rate as spinning reel machines are prohibited.


Rate of loss - bet and win limits
ACT      Hotels and clubs:
  • bet limit $10.00
  • no win limit.

N/A for casino.

NSW

Bet limit of $10.00. Win limit of $10,000 on stand-alone machines. Win limits of $100,000 on intra-venue linked machines, and $500,000 on inter-venue linked machines.

Casino not linked to other venues.

NT Hotels and clubs:
  • bet limit $5.00
  • no win limit.
Casino:
  • no limits.
QLD

Hotels and clubs: bet limit $5.00, win limit $10,000 for machines with no jackpot, $25,000 where stand alone jackpot, and no limit on linked jackpot arrangements. However, the highest approved jackpot is currently $110,000.

Casino:
no legislative limits for either stand alone jackpot or linked jackpot. However, the highest approved linked jackpot is currently $1M.

Inspectors attend gaming machine venue for jackpots over $5,000 to verify the win.

SA Hotels and clubs:
  • bet limit $10.00
  • win limit $10,000 per spin.
Casino:
  • bet limit $10
  • no win limit.
TAS

From 1 April 2010 bet limits on all gaming machines have been reduced  from $10 to $5 for new games submitted on or after this date. For existing games, bet limits are to be reduced to $5 by 30 June 2013.

VIC

Pubs and clubs:
Maximum bet limit of $5 for all machines.

Casino:

  • gaming machine bet limit of $10 (unless located in a specified area)
  • no win limits.
WA Hotels and clubs:
  • N/A

Casino – Bet and Win limits dependent on game and machine.

Bets can range from 2c to $255.00

No limit on winning

Jackpots capped at $1,000.000.00.


Requirements for dealing with jackpots.
ACT      Linked jackpot arrangements for gaming machines must be approved by the Commission.
NSW No.
NT

Approval must be obtained to commission a jackpot system, vary system parameters, connect or disconnect an EGM to or from a jackpot system or decommission a system.

An EGM  can only be connected to one jackpot system at any time and machines linked to a jackpot system must be clearly marked and obvious to patrons.

QLD Yes, jackpot arrangements are subject to the following documents which incorporate harm minimisation measures:
  • Jackpot System Technical Requirements
  • Jackpot Display System Requirements.
Additional conditions may apply to specific jackpot approvals.
SA N/A for clubs and hotels.
TAS Yes, jackpot rules approved.
Additional conditions may also apply to specific game approvals.
VIC Yes, linked jackpot arrangements must be approved.
WA

Yes, for casino. Rules are approved by the Gaming and Wagering Commission additional conditions may apply to specific game approvals.

Signage must be posted in areas adjacent to the EGMs indicating where a Jackpot Prize is for something other than cash.

Jackpot payouts must be verified and approved by a manager or supervisor.


Limits on lines/ways
ACT      No.
NSW No.
NT No.
QLD Games that offer more than 25 possible lines may be accepted as long as there is sufficient clarity for a player to accurately identify all wins. To date maximum number of lines approved is 50.
SA No.
TAS Yes, from 1 April 2010 the maximum possible lines on gaming machines  have been reduced from 50 to 30 for new games. Existing games are to be reduced to 30 lines by 30 June 2013.
VIC No limits.
WA Whilst spinning reel machines are not permitted the WA Appendix to the EGM National Std provides guidance on what may be accepted.

Statutory obligation on the regulator to foster responsible gambling and minimize problem gambling
ACT      Yes.
NSW Yes, Gaming Machines Act 2001 (for hotels and clubs) and Casino Control Act 1992 (for casino).
NT An object of the Gaming Machine Act is to “reduce any adverse social impact of gaming”.
QLD Yes, overarching objective in all gambling legislation which requires, on balance, State and community must benefit. Balance achieved through, amongst other things, minimising potential harm. Funding provided through the Community Investment Fund for Gambling Help will be approx. $4.9 million per year.
SA Yes, Independent Gambling Authority Act 1995.
TAS Yes, there is a statutory obligation that the Tasmanian Gaming Commission foster responsible gambling and minimise problem gambling.
VIC Yes, Section 10.1.3 of the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 specifies that the objectives of the VCGR are to minimise harm caused by problem gambling and accommodate those who gamble without harming themselves or others.
WA

N/A for clubs and hotels.

Yes, for casino. Object of Gaming and Wagering Commission to minimize harm to the community caused by gambling.


Return to player
ACT      Minimum of 87%.
NSW Minimum 85%.
NT Minimum 85% for clubs 88% for casinos.
QLD

Clubs and hotels, 85%-92%.

Minimum 90% for casinos.

Maximum additional amount a non-EGM triggered jackpot system can contribute to return to player is 7% for hotels and clubs (with total return to player not to exceed 92%) and 10% for casinos (desirable for total return to player not to exceed 100% but no maximum limit).

SA

Games installed before 1 Oct 2001, minimum 85%.

After 1 Oct 2001, minimum 87.5%.

TAS Minimum of 85%.
VIC Minimum of 87% per venue, per annum. In practice, the VCGR will only approve games that return at least 87%.
WA

N/A for clubs and hotels.

Minimum of 90% for casino.


Display of odds
ACT      Chances of winning major prizes must be available to customers under the mandatory Code of Practice.
NSW Yes, compulsory for clubs, hotels and casino.
NT Yes, contained in mandatory Northern Territory Code of Practice for Responsible Gambling.
QLD

Yes –s.3.73 of Queensland Appendix to Australian/New Zealand Gaming Machine National Standard require Player Information Displays to be accessible on screen. Information includes chance of winning maximum prize and possible spend rate (implemented in new QCOM 1.6 machines)

Section 1.4 of voluntary QLD Responsible Gambling Code of Practice states that each gambling provider is to provide meaningful and accurate information on the odds of winning major prizes and that this information is prominently displayed in all gambling areas and in proximity to relevant games.

SA Yes, for hotels, clubs and casino. Only in relation to an advertisement or promotion that relies on value of a prize or frequency of winning.
TAS

Provided through player information displays in casinos (based on Crown) and in clubs and hotels (based on QOGR).

A  mandatory code of practice is being established by the Tasmanian Gaming Commission, relating to  improved signage.

VIC Regulations require EGMs to display, at the election of a player, certain information about each game including the chances or odds of achieving the top 5 and bottom 5 (in value) individual winning combinations and the max and min bet options available.
WA

N/A for clubs and hotels.

RTP% only for casino. Odds available at Gaming Information Terminals in Casino

Available in brochures.


Warnings on gaming machines
ACT      Yes, mandatory for clubs, hotels and taverns. A variety of warnings can be chosen. The casino does not have gaming machines.
NSW Yes, compulsory for clubs, hotels and casino.
NT

No specific requirements for warnings on machines.

Information about the potential risks and where to get help is to be prominently displayed in all gaming areas and near ATMs and EFTPOS

QLD Yes, Section 3.73 of QLD Appendix to Australian/New Zealand Gaming Machine National Standard requires Player Information Displays to be accessible on screen. Information includes each spin is random and your chances of winning do not improve the longer you play (implemented in new QCOM 1.6 machines).
SA Yes, under mandatory code of practice. Helpline sticker to be displayed on the cabinet of machine and a warning message on a second screen if the machine is capable of displaying a message on a second screen in a manner approved by the Independent Gambling Authority.
TAS

Yes, warnings regarding minors must be placed on all machines.

Information and help line signage only in clubs and hotels.

Warnings regarding minors displayed at entry.

The feasibility of amending gaming machines in hotels and clubs to provide improved player information display is being assessed. 

VIC Yes, regulations require a “Player Information Talker” as per the Ministers specification to be displayed on each gaming machine so that it is clearly visible from the front of the machine.
WA

N/A for clubs and hotels.

Casino has recently displayed help-line information on voluntary basis.

Available in brochures.


Advertising restrictions
ACT     

Yes, the mandatory Code of Practice restricts advertising by all gambling licensees. Licensees must not publish advertising that:

  • is false or misleading;
  • encourages anyone to contravene a gaming law;
  • encourages under 18s to gamble or targets them;
  • shows under 25s gambling;
  • suggests that gambling is a form of financial investment;
  • suggests that skill can influence a game of chance; and
  • promotes the consumption of alcohol while gambling.

The licensee of a gambling facility must also not:

  • publish advertising that does not include the details of an approved gambling counselling service in the ACT; or
  • give any information or promotional material about gambling at the facility directly to a person excluded by the licensee.

There are additional requirements on gaming machine licensees including prohibiting the display of external signs advertising gaming machines.

NSW

Yes, total ban on all off-premises gaming machine advertising, and gaming machine advertising outside venues.
Exemptions for:

  • trade publications and conventions
  • Government responsible gambling campaigns
  • accidental or incidental accompaniment to news broadcasts etc.
  • if part of other promotional material sent to member by the club or casino and the patron has consented to receiving it.

Restrictions apply to casino advertising (ie, advertising other than gaming machine advertising).

NT

Advertising is to be delivered in an honest and responsible manner. No false impressions of financial gain to be advertised.

Advertising must comply with the Advertising Code of Ethics as adopted by the Australian Association of National Advertises or the Advertising Federation of Australia.

TV adverts to comply with the Federation of Commercial Television Stations (FACTS) Code of Practice.

QLD

Yes. Advertising related to gaming machines must not be indecent or offensive and must be based on fact. It cannot be false, deceptive or misleading.

Machine gaming must not dominate external signage or promotions.

The voluntary Responsible Gambling Advertising and Promotions Guideline helps the gambling industry ensure advertising and promotions are delivered in a responsible manner with consideration given to the potential impact on people adversely affected by gambling.

It is an offence for promotional material to be distributed to excluded persons.

SA Yes, mandatory code of practice from 30 April 2004.
TAS

Yes, Gambling Industry Group Voluntary Code of Practice.

A new mandatory code is being established by the Gaming Commission in relation to advertising gambling products.

VIC Yes, ban from 1 Jan 2005 on the publishing of any gaming machine advertising outside the gaming machine area of an approved venue or the boundaries of a casino.  The Gambling Regulation Amendment (Licensing) Act 2009 made amendments to further strengthen the prohibition.
WA

N/A for clubs and hotels.

Regulation 43 of the Gaming and Wagering Commission Regulations 1988 states that betting operators (including casino) are prohibited from publishing advertisements which:

  • procures, incites or encourages a person to commit an offence;
  • shows a child gambling or at a place where gambling is, or is depicted as, occurring;
  • is false, misleading or deceptive;
  • suggests that every bet placed with or accepted through the operator will be successful;
  • offers a benefit, consideration or return for the person participating in gambling, continuing to gamble or opening a betting account with the operator;

Restrictions on player loyalty systems / programs
ACT      Yes, the mandatory Code of Practice has restrictions on inducements and promotions that apply to player loyalty systems across all forms of gambling. For gaming machines specifically, player reward schemes may require or encourage people to gamble a minimum amount to qualify for rewards generally only where the scheme is advertised within the venue or to members directly.
NSW Yes, cash cannot be offered as a prize and maximum value of prizes limited to $1,000. Player activity statements must also be made available to participants.
NT No, but since cashless gaming is not allowed, any loyalty programs based on cashless gaming are not allowed.
QLD

Voluntary Player Loyalty Guidelines have been developed and support the Code of Practice.

The Voluntary code, which covers all gambling operators, has Guidelines for PLP's, which propose:

  • Relevant information is provided at registration to enable players to make informed decisions
Positive responsible gambling messages are incorporated into PLP features.
SA Yes, outlined in Mandatory Code of Practice.
TAS A new mandatory code of practice is being developed in relation to player loyalty programs.
VIC Yes, restrictions effective from 1 July 2003 include:
  • prescribed information to be provided to new participants and in compulsory annual player activity statements
  • distribution of statements and continued participation
  • ability for participants to limit time play and net loss
  • excluded persons prohibited from participating.
WA

N/A for clubs and hotels.

No for casino.


Ban on inducements
ACT      No, however the mandatory Code of Practice places restrictions on inducements including a prohibition on offering free or discounted alcohol.
NSW Yes, legislation bans gambling-related inducements offered by clubs, hotels and casino.

Inducements cannot include free or discounted liquor or offer free credits to players.

NT Yes, bans on gambling related inducements.
QLD

It is an offence for promotional material to be distributed to excluded persons.

No other legislated bans on gambling inducements (there is a ban on inducing a third party to acquire gaming machines, equipment or services). 

However, certain controls may be exercised as a condition of licence, e.g. external signage and promotional material limits.

Section 6.10 of the voluntary QLD Responsible Gambling Code of Practice provides that gambling providers are to develop and implement strategies to ensure advertising and promotions do not involve any irresponsible trading practices by the gambling provider. 

SA Yes, outlined in Mandatory Code of Practice.
TAS A new mandatory code is being established by the TGC relating to inducements that may lead to problem gambling behaviour.
VIC No.
WA

N/A for clubs and hotels. 

  • Regulation 43 of the Gaming and Wagering Commission Regulations 1988 states that betting operators (including casino) are prohibited from publishing advertisements which offer a benefit, consideration or return for the person participating in gambling, continuing to gamble or opening a betting account with the operator; and contains an expressed or implied inducement for a person to contact the gambling operator.

Player information displayed
ACT      Signage in gaming areas must inform players about gambling restrictions applying to minors and intoxicated persons.

Signage in the gambling venue must inforn patrons of the availability of rules, exclusion programs, Gambling Contact Officer details, counselling services, maximum cash payouts, and return to player information. In addition, a variety of notices warning about problem gambling are to be displayed for the information of players.

NSW

Only provided on request.

Signage required regarding the odds of winning a major prize on a gaming machine; gambling warning notices and GamblingHELP contact details on every gaming machine; counselling services signage to be displayed at the venue; GamblingHELP notice at ATMs at hotels and clubs and within the casino environs. (ATMs banned within the casino)

NT

Yes, on machines in clubs and hotels.

Considering requirement of return to player information on casino gaming machines.

QLD

Under the Gaming Machine Act venues are required to display Rules Ancillary to Gaming, details of help services and nominee details.

Under the Casino Control Act the operator is required to display certain player information and produce game rules upon request.

Under voluntary Code of Practice venues are required to display odds of winning and alert customers that more information such as a player information guide, financial transactions policy and responsible gambling house policy is available on request.

SA

Warning to minors sign at each entrance and sticker on each machine.

Rules Ancillary to Gaming Sign.

Governed by Code of Practice Sign.

Code of Practice available.

Playing of more than one machine sign and sticker on each machine.

Responsible Gambling Poster.

Gambling Helpline Sticker (on each machine and ATM/EFTPOS).

Gambling Helpline Cards.

Responsible Gambling Pamphlets displayed.

TAS Yes.
VIC Yes.
WA

Yes, casino on-screen rules and help. Additional information is provided at Gaming Information Terminals located around the gaming floor and in the international gaming facility.

Rules of games displayed on gaming machine.

Stickers with Gambling Helpline and Gambling Help WA contact details on machines.

Posters and brochures displayed in vicinity of gaming machines.


Pre-commitment
ACT      No.
NSW Yes, if card based gaming system in place. Must be available so patrons can set weekly limits. Not compulsory.
NT No.
QLD Reports on the evaluation of card-based gaming trials and pre-commitment are available on the OLGR website: www.olgr.qld.gov.au.

47 sites currently operating pre-commitment card-based gaming systems.

SA

Trials of pre-commitment and player tracking in progress, with some trials completed.  Can set limits based on loss expenditure and time.

Being evaluated by the Responsible Gambling Working Party.

TAS Under development.
VIC In Victoria all next generation gaming machines will have to have a pre-commitment mechanism that allows a player to pre-set time and loss limits from 2010. Victoria will mandate pre-commitment mechanisms on all gaming machines from 2013 and a more stringent pre-commitment regime will be rolled out in 2015-2016.
WA No.

Loyalty program
ACT      Yes, restrictions on promotions and inducements apply
NSW Yes, restrictions on promotional prizes.
NT Permitted.
QLD Voluntary Player Loyalty Program Guidelines developed to ensure responsible conduct of programs and advertising of programs.
SA Yes, permitted but subject to Mandatory Code of Practice.
TAS Yes, but not a reward program.
VIC Yes, at casino.
WA Yes, at casino.

Interstate Comparison Table - Harm Minimisation Strategies
ISSUE ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA
Last updated 30 November 2009 30 November 2009 30 November 2009 30 November 2009 30 November 2009 30 November 2009 30 November 2009 30 November 2009
Gambling hotline Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Gambling awareness week Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Gambling website Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Face to face counselling Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Financial counselling Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Online counselling Yes, as part of national initiative. Yes, as part of national initiative. Yes, as part of national initiative. Yes, as part of national initiative. Yes, as part of national initiative. Yes, as part of national initiative. Yes, as part of national initiative. Yes, as part of national initiative.
Media campaign Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Problem gambling information materials Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Information materials provided in various languages Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
School education materials on problem gambling Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.  
Record of problem gambling incidences Yes. Yes, not mandatory. Yes. Yes, not mandatory. Yes. Yes, mandatory. Yes.  Not mandatory.
Gambling contact officer in venue Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes, not mandatory. Yes. Yes. Yes.  Yes for Casino

Responsible agency
ACT      ACT Gambling and Racing Commission.
NSW NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, within Communities NSW.
NT Licensing, Regulation and Alcohol Strategy Division of the Department of Justice and Northern Territory Licensing Commission
QLD Dept of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation.

Office of Regulatory Policy (policy matters).

Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (operational matters).

Office of Racing.

SA Office of the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner.

Independent Gambling Authority.

TAS Tasmanian Gaming Commission and Liquor and Gaming Branch, Department of Treasury and Finance.
VIC Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation (operational matters).

Office of Gaming and Racing, Department of Justice (policy matters)
WA Gaming and Wagering Commission of Western Australia.

Legislation Administered
ACT     

Casino Control Act 2006

Gambling and Racing Control Act 1999

Gaming Machine Act 2004

Interactive Gambling Act 1998

Lotteries Act 1964

Pool Betting Act 1964

Race and Sports Bookmaking Act 2001

Racing Act 1999

Unlawful Gambling Act 2009

NSW Gaming Machines Act 2001
Casino Control Act 1992
NT Gaming Control Act
Gaming Machine Act
QLD

Casino Control Act 1982

Casino Control Regulation 1999

Casino Gaming Rule 1999

Gaming Machine Act 1991

Gaming Machine Regulation 2002

Charitable and Non-Profit Gaming Act 1999

Charitable and Non-Profit Gaming Regulation 1999

Charitable and Non-Profit Gaming Rule 1999

Interactive Gambling (Player Protection) Act 1998

Interactive Gambling (Player Protection – Disqualified persons) Regulation 1999

Interactive Gambling (Player Protection) Regulation 1998

Keno Act 1996

Keno Regulation 2007

Keno Rule 2007

Lotteries Act 1997

Lotteries Regulation 2007

Lotteries Rule 1998

Wagering Act 1998

Wagering Regulation 1999

Wagering Rule 1999

Racing Act 2002

Racing Regulation 2003

SA

Gaming Machines Act 1992

Casino Act 1997

Independent Gambling Authority Act 1995

Lottery and Gaming Act 1936

Problem Gambling Family Protection Orders Act 2004

Authorised Betting Operations Act 2000

State Lotteries Act 1966

TAS Gaming Control Act 1993
TT-Line Gaming Act 199
3
VIC Gambling Regulation Act 2003
Gambling Regulation Regulations 2005
Casino Control Act 1991
Casino Management Agreement Act
WA Gaming and Wagering Commission Act 1987
Casino Control Act 1984
Casino (Burswood Island) Agreement Act 1985

Consultative committees
ACT      Gambling Advisory Reference Group
NSW First, of likely ongoing, NSW Problem Gambling Roundtable held in July 2008.
NT In the process of re-establishing a gambling prevention consultative group.
QLD Responsible Gambling Advisory Committee.
SA Minister for Gambling has convened a Responsible Gambling Working Party.
TAS

Tasmanian Gambling Industry Group.

Tasmanian Gambling Consultative Group.

VIC Responsible Gambling Ministerial Advisory Council.
WA None.

Statistical data by municipality
ACT      Limited data on a Territory-wide basis.
NSW

Yes, grouped for clubs and hotels.

N/A for casino.

NT Yes, by ABS regional classification.
QLD

Yes, grouped for clubs and hotels.

No for casinos.

SA

Yes, grouped for clubs and hotels.

No for casinos.

TAS Venues and number of machines by local government area available on website.
VIC

Yes, for clubs and hotels.

N/A for casino.

WA

N/A for clubs and hotels.

No for casino (one location).


Most recent prevalence rate for problem gambling
ACT     

1.9%

Survey of the nature and extent of gambling and problem gambling in the ACT, 2001

NSW

0.4%

NSW Population Health Survey 2008-2009 February 2010

NT

0.64%

NT Gaming Prevalence Study, 2005

QLD

0.37%

Queensland Household Gambling Survey conducted in 2008/09. Sample size of 15,000 adults.

SA

1.6% problem gamblers (1.4% moderate risk + 0.2% high risk)

2005 prevalence survey (approx 18,000 surveyed-17,000 adults): CPGI used

TAS

0.54% problem gamblers, 0.86% “moderate at risk”.

Social and Economic Impact Study Volume 2 (undertaken by the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies)

VIC

0.7%

2009 A Study of Gambling in Victoria: Problem gambling from a public health perspective

WA

0.17%

1999 Productivity Commission


Social impact assessment
ACT     

Yes, for all gaming machine licence applications, ie clubs and hotels.

N/A for casino.

NSW

Yes, for clubs and hotels - for new premises approval and increase in gaming machine numbers.

No for casino.

NT Yes, required for new application and when a venue applies for an increase of five or more machines.
QLD

Yes, legislative requirement under the Gaming Machine Act 1991 for clubs and hotels to submit Community Impact Statement (CIS) for new gaming machine licence applications or significant increases (10 or more for hotels, 20 or more for clubs).

CIS usual for significant casino changes (eg extended opening hours, increase in gaming machine/table game numbers).

SA Yes, social effects test.
TAS

Legislated requirement for independent review into social and economic impact of gambling in Tasmania every three years.  The first study was completed and released in 2008.

Government response to address issues raised in the report have, or will be implemented, in the coming months.

The tender process for the next Social and Economic Impact Study of Gambling in Tasmania has commenced. This study is to be completed in late 2011. 

VIC

Yes, for clubs and hotels - for new premises approval, any increase in EGM numbers and 24 hour gaming.

No for casino.

WA

N/A for clubs and hotels.

Yes for casino (under Casino Control Act).


Quantity restrictions (Venue specific)
ACT     

Clubs, no restriction.

Hotels, 10 machines.

Taverns, 2 machines.

Casino, nil (within overall cap).

NSW

Clubs, no restrictions.

Hotels, maximum 30 machines.

Casino, maximum is 1,500 machines.

NT

Clubs, 45 machines.

Hotels, 10 machines.

Casinos, limited by regulatory approval processes.

QLD

Clubs, 280 machines.

Hotels, 40 machines.

Section 62(3D) of the Casino Control Act 1982 provides that the Minister may, by written notice given to a casino operator, fix a limit on the number of gaming machines to be permitted in the casino or a particular part of the casino. Ratio of 12 machines to one table game currently applied.

SA

Clubs, 40 machines.

Hotels, 40 machines.

Casino, 995.

TAS

Individual clubs, 40 machines.

Individual hotels, 30 machines.

Statewide cap of 2,500 for hotels and clubs in total and a cap on total machines in the state of 3,680 including casinos.

VIC

Clubs, 105 machines.

Hotels, 105 machines.

Casino, 2,500 machines.

WA

N/A clubs and hotels.

Casino, 1,750 on gaming floor. 150 EGMs not available to the general public as a result of being located within the international gaming facility.


Quantity restrictions (State specific)
ACT     

Clubs and hotels, 5,200 machines.

Casino, nil.

NSW

State-wide cap of 99,000 machines.

(Note: this State-wide cap will be reduced further)

Casino, 1,500 machines (since 1993).

NT

NT-wide cap of 1,190 community gaming machines (i.e. excludes casinos).

Currently 1,190 community gaming machines approved for operation therefore cap reached.

Casinos are limited by regulatory approval processes. Currently total of 1,005 gaming machines across the two casinos.

QLD

Yes, state-wide cap for hotels set at 20,000 machines.  Moratorium on release of further operating authorities means effective current cap for hotels is 19,310 machines.

A re-allocation scheme exists for hotel gaming machine operating authorities by tender pool within the cap and within three regions – South East, Coastal and Western.  The moratorium on the release of government hotel operating authorities means 690 are frozen until 30 April 2012.

A state-wide permanent cap on the number of gaming machines in clubs has also been set at 24,705. A market-based reallocation scheme operates within the cap.

SA

Restricted to one casino only.

Currently 12,900 gaming machine entitlements declining to 12,118 gaming machine entitlements.

TAS Yes, a statewide cap of 2,500 for hotels and clubs in total and a cap on total machines in the state of 3,680 including casinos, but excluding the TT-Line ferries.
VIC Yes, 30,000 machines in total:
  • 2,500 for the casino
  • 13,750 each for club venues and hotel venues.

Regional caps in place to restrict the number of gaming machines in 19 regions. Cap set at 10 gaming machines per 1,000 adults or existing density, whichever is lower.

Maximum density of gaming machines in all municipal areas to be capped at 10 per 1,000 adults by 2010.

WA

N/A for clubs and hotels.

Single venue restriction for casino.


Number of EGMs at time of last update: • State-wide • Venue
ACT      Clubs -5,014; Hotels - 60; Taverns -10; Casino -nil
NSW Clubs - 71,534; Hotels - 23,679; Casino - 1,500
NT Clubs and hotels -1,190; Darwin Casino -753; Alice Springs Casino - 252
QLD Clubs – 23,473; Hotels - 18,811; Casinos - 3,475 operational EGMs as at end April 2010
SA Clubs - 1,558; Hotels - 11,179; Casino - 983
TAS Clubs and hotels - 2,377; Casinos - 1,280; Wrest Pt - 745; Country Club - 535; 46 (23 and 23) on Spirit of Tasmania I and II respectively.
VIC Clubs and hotels - 26,772 at 30 June 2009; Casino - 2,500
WA Clubs and hotels - N/A; Casino -1,750

Number of Casinos
ACT      One.
NSW One.
NT Two.
QLD Four – Brisbane, Gold Coast, Townsville and Cairns.
SA One.
TAS Two terrestrial casinos.
VIC One.
WA One.

Requirement for public hearings (Clubs and Hotels only)
ACT      New gaming machine licence or additional machines applications require a social impact assessment which includes a 6 week period for public consultation.
NSW Requirement for advertising of new licence and other applications, but no requirement for public hearing unless a club/hotel application is contested.
NT No.
QLD No, all new applicants for a gaming machine licence and certain increases require a Community Impact Statement (CIS). The CIS requires public consultation and advertising of the application.
SA Requirement for advertising of new licence and other applications, but no requirement for public hearing. IGA holds public hearings when conducting inquiries.
TAS No.
VIC Yes.
WA N/A

Major licensee owner/operators
ACT      Casino Canberra.
NSW Casino:
TABCORP / Star City Pty Ltd.
NT

Lasseters and Sky City – Casinos.

Various for clubs and hotels.

QLD

Each venue is licensed separately to an individual / partnership / trust or corporate entity.

Gold Coast Casino:

Licensee: Jupiters Custodian.
Operator: Jupiters Limited

Brisbane Casino:

Licensee: Jupiters Limited
Operator:Jupiters Limited

Cairns Casino:

Licensee: Reef Corporate Services Ltd
Operator: Casinos Austria International (Cairns) Pty Ltd

Townsville Casino:

Licensee: Breakwater Island Limited
Operator: Jupiters Limited.

SA Each venue is licensed separately to an individual / partnership / trust or corporate entity.
TAS

Australian National Hotels Pty Ltd.

Tasman Country Club Casinos Pty Ltd.

Both are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Federal Hotels Pty Ltd.

VIC

Currently two gaming operators Tattersall's and Tabcorp (post 2012 to move to a venue operator model).

Casino Operator Crown Melbourne Limited.

WA

Casino Licensee:
Burswood Nominees Limited subsidiary of Crown Limited.


Fund allocation (General community services)
ACT      A minimum legislatively prescribed level of community contributions must be made by licensed clubs, 7% of Net Gaming Machine Revenue (as defined in the Gaming Machine Act 2004).
NSW

Optional for clubs (allocations may qualify for a Government tax rebate).

No for hotels.

Unclaimed jackpot prizes and unclaimed gaming machine tickets not claimed within 12 months are paid into the Community Development Fund.

NT

Hotels contribute 10% of EGM player loss to a Community Benefit Fund.

Clubs are expected to contribute to the community through financial and in kind contribution.

N/A for casinos.

QLD

Yes, the Gambling Community Benefit Fund – funded via Community Investment Fund – receives 8.5% of tax revenue from lotteries, wagering, keno and gaming machines.

The 1% community benefit fund levy that was payable by the four respective casinos was abolished on 1 July 2009. However, the casino community benefit funds are preserved within the Community Investment Fund.

SA Yes, for clubs and hotels

No for casino.

TAS

Yes, for clubs and hotels.

  • 4% of gross profits from gaming machines must be allocated to the Community Support Levy
  • 25% of the levy is distributed to sport and recreation clubs
  • 25% is distributed to charitable organisations.

No for casinos.

Note: 50% component of the Levy (see below) also allows for provision of “other health services”.

VIC

Yes.

8.33% from hotels is paid to the Community Support Fund for community and problem gambling services.

Community benefit levy of 1% (gaming machines and table games) from casino.

WA

N/A for clubs and hotels.

Gaming machine levy increased from 1% to 2% from 1 January 2008. The increased levy is to be spent for the protection and enhancement of ecological and community benefits and amenity of the Swan and Canning Rivers and associated lands.


Fund allocation (Problem gambling assistance)
ACT     

A minimum legislatively prescribed level of community contributions must be made by licensed clubs, 7% of Net Gaming Machine Revenue (as defined in the Gaming Machine Act 2004). As part of an incentive scheme, licensees may claim $4 in eligible contributions for every $3 allocated to problem gambling.

NSW Responsible gambling levy calculated by reference to 2% of casino gaming revenue and paid to the Responsible Gambling Fund.
NT

Yes, for hotels.

Clubs must make contribution to satisfy community obligation.

N/A for casinos.

QLD

Yes.

$4.9 million for 2009/10 to fund 14 face-to-face Gambling Help Services, a residential treatment program and Gambling Help Line.

SA Yes for clubs and hotels (voluntary). Yes for casino (voluntary).
TAS

Yes for clubs and hotels.

50% of the Community Support Levy is provided for :research into gambling, services for the treatment and prevention of compulsive gambling, community education concerning gambling, and other health services.

No for casinos.

VIC

Yes, 8.33% from hotels is paid to the Community Support Fund for community and problem gambling services.

No for casino.

WA

N/A for clubs and hotels.

Yes, casino contributes a voluntary amount to the Problem Gambling Support Services Committee.

Content Updated: 21 August 2013