Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Let's Play Find the ATM at NSW Clubs (Part 1)

I have no doubt that strict compliance with the law is practised by NSW Clubs. However, on two instances I've seen practices that I believe try to shortcut the intention of the law. These are practices realting to the placement of the ATM.

Regulation 31 of the NSW Gaming Machines Regulation 2002 provides:
"31 Location of cash dispensing facilities away from gaming machines

A hotelier or registered club must not permit a facility for the withdrawal or transfer of money from a bank or authorised deposit-taking institution (such as an ATM or EFTPOS terminal) to be located in a part of the hotel, or a part of the premises of the club, in which approved gaming machines are located."
Chapter 9 of the Productivity Commission's Draft Report explains why. Click here to download a copy of Chapter 9. The first two sentences in paragraph 9.1 say it best:
The availability of cash and credit in gambling venues has been an important area for harm minimisation action by governments since 1999. This is in part due to evidence of a close association between the use of ATMs/EFTPOS facilities in venues and problem gambling, as well as a strong preference of problem gamblers for their removal.
So the law requires that the ATM not be in the pokie gambling area and the reason is minimising the harm to problem gamblers.

Here's a picture taken inside the pokie gambling area at the Sydney Juniors promoting the location of the ATM.If a gambler is having a problem with their pokie gambling this sign certainly points to where they can withdraw more cash. Clearly such a sign does not comply with the intent of the law to break the connection with pokie gambling and the availability of cash withdrawal facilities.

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