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NSW Pubs and Clubs to Staff Responsible Gambling Officers

March 11, 2024
NSW Pubs and Clubs to Staff Responsible Gambling Officers

In a landmark move to address gambling-related harm, the New South Wales government has mandated that from July 2024, all pubs and clubs operating more than 20 gaming machines must have a Responsible Gambling Officer (RGO) present during peak hours. This decision underscores a growing recognition of the need for more robust in-venue support for individuals who may be experiencing gambling difficulties.

The introduction of RGOs in gaming venues is part of a broader strategy to ensure that gambling in NSW is conducted responsibly and that adequate measures are in place to protect patrons from potential harm. These officers will be tasked with identifying and assisting individuals showing signs of distress or problematic gambling behaviors, providing them with immediate support and directing them to further help if needed.

This initiative comes at a time when concerns over gambling harm are at an all-time high, with various stakeholders calling for more action to safeguard vulnerable individuals. By requiring a dedicated officer on the floor, venues will now play a more active role in harm minimization efforts, bridging the gap between the excitement of gaming and the reality of its potential consequences.

The RGOs’ responsibilities will extend beyond mere observation; they will be equipped with training to initiate conversations with patrons about their gambling habits, offer advice on managing their gaming, and provide information on external support services. This proactive approach aims to create a safer gambling environment, encouraging a culture of care and understanding within the community.

Critics and proponents alike will be watching closely to see the impact of this policy. Success will likely be measured by a decrease in instances of problem gambling and an increase in public awareness and use of gambling support services. As NSW leads with this innovative approach, it could set a precedent for other states and territories to follow, potentially reshaping Australia’s gambling landscape towards a more responsible and sustainable future.

In summary, the requirement for Responsible Gambling Officers in NSW gaming venues marks a significant step forward in the fight against gambling harm. It represents a shift towards more responsible stewardship of gambling activities, with the welfare of patrons firmly at the heart of the initiative.

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