In New South Wales (NSW), the Gaming Machines Act 2001 and the Gaming Machines Regulation 2010 require venues to implement a minimum set of practices in the responsible conduct of gambling (RCG); and all managers of venues with gaming machines and all employees and club directors with gaming machine duties, must complete an accredited RCG training course.
There has not been a recent comprehensive examination undertaken in NSW into the effectiveness of RCG programs and training in facilitating RCG in clubs and hotels. This research was conducted to assist in building an evidence-base with which to consider future options for enhancements to RCG requirements, practices and training. Its overarching objective was to contribute to the review and potential improvement of RCG practices in NSW venues.
- NSW clubs and hotels use an informed choice approach to RCG.
- Most employees reported that their venue implements regulated RCG practices but some were aware of illegal practices occurring.
- Employees reported being responsive to patrons asking for help for their gambling, but monitoring of self-exclusion has numerous deficiencies.
- Very few patrons directly ask for help for their gambling.
- Employees report regularly observing patrons showing signs of problem gambling, but rarely approach those who do not ask for help or report them upwards.
- Genuine management commitment to patron welfare can improve some RCG practices, but these venues were reported to be in the minority.
- The current approach to RCG is having little positive impact on harm prevention or reduction.
- Other jurisdictions are increasingly moving towards a harm minimisation approach.
- Substantial changes to RCG practices and training in NSW are needed to meaningfully minimise gambling harm.