Gambling

Most forms of gambling are legal in NSW, and may be considered a form of entertainment. However, The Greens NSW recognise that gambling can cause considerable harm to individuals and communities. This policy aims to minimise that harm.

Principles

1. Gambling addiction and the harm it causes is a public health issue that negatively affects individuals, families and communities. Policy at all levels of government should aim to reduce gambling harm.

2. Poker machines and other forms of electronic gaming machines should be restricted to casinos and removed from clubs and hotels.

3. The ability of gambling interests to influence political parties, regulatory bodies and election outcomes should be minimised through strong laws and penalties. We recognise that to date successful NSW governments have failed to address the problems caused by gambling because they have been heavily influenced by the industry and because they have succumbed to the conflict of interest created by being both industry regulator and beneficiary of gambling tax revenue.

4. Profits from gambling should be tightly controlled and taxed to reduce negative social impacts and to ensure that the public interest is put before profit making.

5. Gambling advertising should be restricted to ensure the exposure of children to inappropriate gambling messages is minimised.

6. Any new gambling technology or service introduced in NSW must have a neutral or beneficial impact as assessed against public health and gambling harm criteria.

7. Communities, through council planning instruments, should have the ability to control the location and density of gambling venues and electronic gaming machines.

Aims

The Greens NSW will work for:

A. Harm minimisation measures

8. Using evidence-based strategies to minimise and prevent gambling-related harm.

9. Adopting a public health approach, and guaranteeing the necessary resources to act on the prevention and treatment of gambling addiction.

10. Prohibiting any offers of inducements to gamble, including:

10.1. Free or discounted liquor;

10.2. Free credits or rewards to players;

10.3. Indecent or offensive prizes or giveaways;

10.4. Free or discounted food/drinks.

11. Restricting the consumption of food and beverages at gambling machines and tables.

12. Requiring natural lighting in gambling venues.

13. Lengthening shutdown periods of gambling venues and strengthening the regulation of exemptions from the full shutdown period.

14. Removing ATMs from all gambling venues (except in country towns with no other accessible ATM) and ensuring EFTPOS facilities at venues do not permit cash withdrawals.

15. Mandating self-exclusion programs that are simple to use and allow for an exclusion to be executed for multiple venues/services in one transaction. Breaches of self-exclusion should attract substantial fines for venues/services with customers referred to support services. Self-exclusion programs cannot be used as a replacement for other harm minimisation strategies.

16. Require all gaming facilities to have information about gambling support services prominently displayed within gaming rooms and require electronic gaming machines to display gambling harm messages and support information at regular intervals during play.

B. Monitoring and Regulation

17. Regulating simulated racing and so-called ‘skill-based’ games in the same way as Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs).

18. Require all new forms of gambling, or amendments to existing forms of gambling, in particular new electronic and so-called ‘skill-based’ games, to undergo a public health and gambling harm impact assessment and only be able to be licenced if they are no more addictive or cause no more harm than existing forms. Financial contributions should not be part of any assessment. Require a legislative or disallowable regulatory process before any new products can be introduced.

19. Strengthening the role and power of Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) and setting its key objectives to be the minimisation of gambling harm, and the protection of individuals and the community.

20. Developing a uniform (whole of industry) mandatory code of conduct across the gambling industry to safeguard consumers and the industry with reasonable, enforceable sanctions for breaches of the code.

21. Renaming the Responsible Gambling Fund the Gambling Harm Reduction Fund.

22. Establishing a program of independent research into understanding and minimising the impacts of gambling harm and appropriate policy response, to be funded from the Gambling Harm Reduction Fund.

23. Requiring public, monthly, venue by venue reporting on gambling revenues.

24. Maintaining for-profit gambling business on the ‘prohibited donor’ list and expand the list to include not the not-for-profit gambling sector, including registered clubs and club board members.

25. Ensuring that accessible access to venues is not solely through gambling areas.

C. Electronic Gaming Machines (EGM)

26. Cap all poker machine numbers in LGAs at current (January 2019) numbers, and phasing out EGMs in clubs and hotels.

27. Winnings above $250 to be paid out by cheque or some other mechanism that does not allow the gambler to immediately access those funds.

28. Prohibiting the creation of new EGM entitlements.

29. Limiting maximum bets to $1 per button push.

30. Banning design features that are addictive, deceptive and misleading including:

30.1. Losses disguised as wins;

30.2. Loaded reels;

30.3. Programmed near misses.

31. Requiring that all EGM include a feature that interrupts play every 30 minutes to provide the player with information, including duration of session, the amount of money a player has spent during the session, and the player’s net wins and net losses during the session.

32. Banning EGM from retail shopping centres, aged and other care facilities, and outdoor venues such as sporting venues.

33. Prohibiting the moving of EGM entitlements between locations and the creation of new entitlements for new venues. Clubs with multiple premises should be prohibited from moving entitlements between locations.

34. Changing the club grants system to:

34.1. Increase the proportion of machine profit paid as club grants and make this contribution compulsory;

34.2. Disallow grants to be invested in club related infrastructure;

34.3. Create an independent and transparent system of grant allocation that doesn’t involve club boards, Ministers or local MPs;

34.4. Remove tax rebates for ClubGrants.

35. Phasing out multi-terminal gaming machines.

36. Applying the responsible gambling levy that currently only applies to casinos to all EGM operators, as a percentage of the EGM profits.

D. Casinos

37. Continuing to oppose the creation of a new casino in NSW and any expansion of the existing casino.

38. Working towards lifting all legislative exemptions for casinos, including the exemption on the indoor-smoking ban.

39. Independent monitoring of the corruption impacts of existing and new casinos.

40. Increasing the tax rates on casinos and directing the revenue towards gambling harm-minimisation and mitigation strategies.

41. Maintaining and strengthening the ban on poker machines at the Barangaroo casino by extending it to multi-terminal machines and applying the ban to the Star Casino.

42. Prohibiting the advertisement and promotion of sports betting at event venues and during sporting broadcasts and prohibiting the sponsorship of sporting teams, codes, players, broadcasters or commentators by gambling or gambling-related entities.

43. Prohibiting all advertising that include an inducement to gamble.

44. Prohibiting the advertising and promotion of sports betting in public spaces, including but not limited to public transport infrastructure and billboards.

45. Requiring advertisers and platform operators to take all possible steps to ensure children under 18 years of age are not exposed to gambling related advertising with significant penalties for breaches.

46. Maintaining a point of consumption tax on all racing and sports betting with a portion directed to the Responsible Gambling Fund.

E. Racing Industry

47. Developing enforceable animal welfare policies for all racing bodies involved in the breeding, training and racing of animals in order to prevent cruelty and to ensure the animals' welfare needs are fully met (consistent with the objectives outlined in the Greens NSW Animal Welfare policy).

48. The development of strategies to minimise the number of animals that are injured or harmed in rearing, training or racing or are killed because they are unsuitable for racing.

49. Creating a single independent integrity authority for all animal racing in NSW with responsibility for regulating the operation of the industries, including animal welfare, the appointment of managing stewards, drug testing, codes of behaviour and rules, and imposing penalties.

50. Reinstating the Greyhound Racing Ban.

51. Stopping payments to the racing industry from tax revenues collected from the wagering point of consumption tax (equivalent of 2% of net wagering profits).

52. Managing the commercial functions of each racing code by separate bodies that can be directed by the integrity authority in matters relating to racing integrity, animal welfare, and drug policies.