The government of South Australia has introduced new gaming legislation aimed at supporting the state’s hotel and hospitality sector while strengthening consumer protections.
The new gaming regulations proposed Friday would see banknote acceptors fitted to gaming machines in South Australian clubs and hotels, as well as gaming machines and automated gaming tables operating in the Adelaide Casino.
South Australia Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said that the proposed introduction of banknote acceptors would bring the state in line with other Australian and New Zealand jurisdictions.
To address concerns about problem gambling, the denomination of banknotes and the total amount allowed to be inserted will be strictly controlled to mitigate risk, with consumer protections further strengthened by the proposed introduction of Barring Orders for gamblers.
“Barring orders are an integral part of our measures to combat problem gambling and protecting the community from gambling-related harm,” Chapman said.
“Under these reforms, barring orders may be made for any period or an indefinite period and be initiated for multiple gaming venues.
“In addition, any money won by a barred patron - or unclaimed winnings on gaming machines - will be forfeited and paid into the Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund.”
Chapman is also recommending that the scope of the use this fund be expanded to include public education, treatment and counselling programs and gambling research, led by an advisory council from across the sector.
“Through these reforms, we want to strike a balance between supporting an economically viable gaming industry and meeting the broader community’s expectations around responsible and safe gaming,” Chapman explained.
“Our proposed measures would also help struggling sporting and community clubs who already hold gaming entitlements to merge together or transfer gaming machines more easily, helping regional centres benefit from more competitive venues while reducing the number of clubs with machines."
Other proposed changes include a simplified and modernised Lotteries Act to better regulate fundraising lotteries and trade promotion lotteries; allowing gaming venues and the Adelaide Casino to operate on Christmas Day and Good Friday, consistent with liquor licensing; and imposing a fixed number of gaming machines for South Australia.
The proposed retail gaming regulations follow the introduction of new rules for online betting earlier this year, which included a ban on direct marketing to customers in South Australia without their prior consent.