The NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) says it will no longer approve applications from licensed venues to provide additional late-night gaming unless those venues can prove they have sufficient measures in place to mitigate gambling harm.
This follows a new revision to guidelines governing ILGA’s approach to applications which have the effect of increasing access to late-night post- gaming in NSW. The guidelines were revised in response to findings from Roy Morgan Research showing that late-night EGM gamblers tend to be more intense gamblers and significantly more likely to be experiencing problem gambling. The later into the early hours of the morning play takes place, the higher the proportion of “at risk” gamblers, particularly after 2am, the regulator said.
ILGA Chairperson Caroline Lamb said the revision to Guideline revision reinforces ILGA’s responsibilities around late-night gaming applications.
“When we look at the increasing body of evidence of the association between late-night gaming and gaming-related harm, ILGA is generally concerned about applications which, if approved, would result in significantly increased access to post-midnight gaming,” Lamb said. “Our concern is greater if the proposal would involve gaming after 2am.
“It is our hope that in the face of the evidence, venues offering gaming facilities will recognize the risks and themselves introduce effective measures to protect their members and customers from harm.
“ILGA is unlikely to approve applications involving additional late-night gaming unless there are effective conditions aimed at decreasing the risk of gaming-related harm, such as conditions limiting the operating hours of gaming rooms.
“Where applicants have failed to adequately mitigate the potential risk, we want operators to understand that ILGA has the power to place additional conditions on licenses to prevent and reduce gambling harm. That power exists at any time and whether or not an application has been made.
“ILGA aims to ensure that where late-night gaming occurs, it operates in an environment which addresses the need for harm minimization.”