A month-long compliance blitz has found nearly 99% of pubs and clubs inspected in NSW are now free of external gambling-related signage, as the Minns Government begins its statewide reform on gaming room advertising.
During the compliance programme, Liquor and Gaming NSW (L&GNSW) inspected over 1100 venues across 35 metropolitan and 8 regional Local Government Areas (LGAs). This represents just over 50% of all venues in NSW with an entitlement to hold gaming machines.
These inspections revealed 16 venues with prohibited external signage, which L&GNSW is investigating. This represents an overall compliance rate of almost 99%.
This signage has been found to be triggering for those with gambling-related issues and were banned from 1 September 2023.
L&GNSW has directly communicated with industry on the changes, first announced in May, including issuing a compliance position paper and several communications on its website and to venues in the months and weeks leading up to the ban which came into place on 1 September.
Inspectors are currently assessing the instances of prohibited signage identified during the blitz, to determine the cause of delay in removing the signage. Those venues which are not able to produce clear evidence that the delays were caused by factors outside of their control will be fined.
L&GNSW Inspectors also identified some operators who have put in place signage in what appears to be an attempt to circumvent the restrictions. L&GNSW is investigating this signage and will determine whether further action, including enforcement or administrative action needs to be taken.
L&GNSW has clearly signalled those venues with existing non-compliant signage, or new signage that attempts to circumvent the restrictions in the legislation, will face escalated enforcement action, with a zero-tolerance approach from 1 December 2023. Failure to comply with these requirements carries penalties of up to $11,000, per offence.
Minister for Gaming and Racing David Harris said: “Removing this signage for pubs and clubs is just one part of our commitment to reducing gambling harm in our community and I thank licensees and industry bodies for getting on board.
“We have been working positively and proactively with industry associations and venues across the state to educate, inform and support them through this process and ensure this high level of compliance.
“We welcome the positive impact this campaign has had on the exteriors of licensed venues which now solely feature advertisements for a diverse range of offerings such as food and beverage specials, live music and entertainment instead of signs designed to advertise the presence of gaming machines. It makes a noticeable difference to the amenity of our cities and suburbs.
“It’s great to see industry and government working together to prevent and reduce gambling harm in the community and we will continue to do so.”
BTG’s ‘Christmas Catch’ Slot Hits Evolution Network December 1
Is there anything more Christmassy than BTG’s Christmas Catch?
The countdown to Christmas has begun, which can mean only one thing: a new festive game from Big Time Gaming. Christmas Catch is high on volatility, even higher on tinsel, and comes stuffed with more goodies than Santa’s sack. This seasonal slot will be hitting the Evolution Network on December 1 like a Christmas pud out of a bazooka.
If all you want for Christmas is a seasonal twist on BTG’s fan favourite Golden Catch slot, then you’ve come to the right place. Christmas Catch takes the magic of the original and transplants it to a winter wonderland on Christmas Eve.
Santa’s hardworking reindeer are putting in overtime this year. With every every spin and reaction, there’s the chance of a Sleigh symbol appearing above reels two to five. Whenever winning symbols are removed, one or more Gift Bonus Prizes may appear. Gift Bonus Prizes are awarded for each Sleigh and can be worth up to 500x the bet, depending on how many symbols are on its reel.
Meanwhile, land three Golden Pudding scatters in the base game to win 10 free spins, with an additional two for every scatter beyond the third. Then it’s take-off for Rudolph and his reindeer pals. The first Sleigh sets off with a 1x Sleigh Multiplier, and with each subsequent Sleigh, the multiplier increases by 1, enhancing your Gifts Bonus Prizes as it goes.
By gathering three or more Scatters during your Free Spins, you’ll be gifted four extra Free Spins. And just like before, for every Scatter beyond the third, you’ll receive an extra two Free Spins, ensuring the festivities continue.
Meanwhile, because this is a Megaways slot, there can be up to 117,649 ways to win on each spin, which could make for some potential big wins this Christmas.
Nik Robinson, BTG CEO, said: “We love this time of year because we have a lot of momentum with our annual Christmas slot, and we have sprinkled as much festive fun as we can onto Christmas Catch. And so, on behalf of everyone at BTG, we’d like to wish all slots fans around the world, health, wealth, happiness and prosperity this Christmas season.”
Nicholas Peters, Chief Business Development Officer for Europe at Evolution said: “Christmas-themed slots are becoming a genre unto themselves, but Christmas Catch must be a contender for the best one ever. This is more than just a seasonal gimmick, it’s a seriously good game with the kind of hugely engaging gameplay we’ve come to expect from BTG.”
Tabcorp Appoints New Chief Financial Officer
Tabcorp Holdings has announced the appointment of Mark Howell as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
Howell is currently the general manager liquor finance and network optimisation for Coles Group Limited’s liquor business, which trades as Liquorland, Vintage Cellars and First Choice Liquor Market.
He has formerly held senior finance, strategy, business development and investor relations roles at Coles, as well as senior banking roles at Rothschild and Goldman Sachs in Australia and New York.
Adam Rytenskild, Managing Director and CEO of Tabcorp, said: “Mark is the perfect fit for Tabcorp as we deliver our transformation. He’s passionate about our growth story and dynamic in his thinking.
“Wagering is one of the most competitive industries in Australia and Mark comes from an equally competitive customer focused industry. His experience leading finance teams at Coles and working closely with investors will be invaluable moving forward.”
South Australia: Gambling Report Urges Primetime Ad Ban
South Australia has banned gambling ads on television from 4 pm to 7:30 pm, now a parliamentary inquiry has concluded Victoria should do similar.
The Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) is urging the state government to consider stricter rules on gambling ads during primetime broadcasts and in public places.
“More appropriate regulations and safeguards are needed to protect Victorians, especially our children and young people,” Committee Chair Sarah Connolly said.
The report also urges the government to consider the impact of reducing the total number of electronic gaming machines across the state and update education resources for school students about gambling and alcohol-related harms.
“Our culture has often been described as one that tends to normalise both drinking and gambling,” Ms Connolly said.
“The Committee heard evidence to suggest that this has become more entrenched than ever, with the rise in social media and digital technology.”
Over eight months PAEC reviewed three Auditor-General’s reports relating to the regulation of gambling and liquor, and reducing the harm caused by gambling.
“Our report’s 96 findings and 61 recommendations have been informed by 54 public submissions, three days of public hearings, a Geelong site visit and a youth roundtable,” Ms Connolly said.
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