The Parliament of South Australia has introduced the Statutes Amendment (Gambling Reform) Bill 2013, which sets out reforms to gaming machine laws under the Gaming Machines Act 1992 (SA).

 

Deputy Premier John Rau said these “reforms are designed to decrease the number of gaming machines and gaming venues in South Australia” and “accelerate the introduction of pre-commitment systems to support customers gamble within their limits”.

 

Under the proposed laws, venues can chose to become a ‘major venue’ or a ‘minor venue’. Major venues will implement systems to reduce problem gambling, including:

 

• maximum of 60 machines;
• voluntary pre-commitment and automated risk monitoring;
• maximum bet of $5 on gaming machines (reduced from $10);
• all gaming machines to support on-screen messages; and
• limitations in relation to obtaining cash from cash facilities.

 

At minor venues gaming is incidental to food and beverage services. Reforms for minor venues include:

 

• maximum of 20 machines;
• maximum bet of $5 on gaming machines (reduced from $10);
• gaming operations cannot be conducted on the premises between 2am and 10am on any day;
• prohibition of automated coin machines;
• all gaming machines to support on-screen messages;
• limitations in relation to obtaining cash from cash facilities; and
• no customer loyalty schemes.

 

In addition, all venues will be required to introduce new in-venue signage to support customer budget setting, provide information to patrons regarding responsible gambling, ensure the availability of gambling help services and meet new training requirements in relation to the introduction of pre-commitment machines in South Australia.

 

The commencement date of the proposed laws will be fixed by proclamation, however a press release from the office of the Deputy Premier indicates that the proposed laws could come into force as early as 1 July 2014.

 

The draft legislation also sets out reforms to the Authorised Betting Operations Act 2000, the Casino Act 1997, the Independent Gambling Authority Act 1995, the Problem Gambling Family Protection Orders Act 2004 and the State Lotteries Act 1966.

 

Before the proposed laws can be enacted as legislation the Bill must pass through both Houses of Parliament.

 

DLA Piper will monitor the Bill’s progress closely. Please contact Judith Miller (judith.miller@dlapiper.com) for further information.

Posted by Ashley Averill on Wednesday 15 May 2013