Passage of Bill brings greater clarity to gambling sector
The Gambling Amendment Bill (No.2) passed by Parliament today will ensure that the Gambling Act 2003 works as originally intended, Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne said today
The Gambling Amendment Bill (No.2) was introduced in 2007 and, since then,important clarifications have been included specifying the responsibilities gambling perperators have to the community after they are licensed. Gaming machines in pubs and clubs (i.e. non-casino) represent 'Class 4' gambling.
“The amendments will help ensure that operators are part of a clean well-run sector.
It is also made clear that operators can be held to account if they lose sight of this community focus”, says Mr Dunne.
Key changes include:
· A stronger differentiation between Class 4 gambling societies that apply funds to their own purposes and those that distribute
· A new duty for grant recipients to use grants for the specific purpose it was granted, together with an offence provision for non-compliance
· A new duty for casinos and Class 4 venue staff to assist problem gamblers where ongoing issues exist
· Clarification that the Secretary for Internal Affairs can suspend or cancel a gambling licence for past, one-off breaches of the Act.
“The Bill contains a number of useful measures to ensure the Gambling Act’s harm prevention and minimisation measures work well. It reinforces the duty-of-care responsibilities gaming machine and casino operators owe to their customers.
“It will not be enough for a gaming machine or casino operator to approach a person once only about their gambling, provide information about problem gambling, and then take no further action if there is continuing concern about their gambling behaviour.
“Essentially, there will be an ongoing duty to provide assistance if it is needed”, says Mr Dunne
The Bill strengthens requirements for the banking of community money generated by gaming machines in the non-casino sector.
“Large sums of money are at stake in the gambling sector, and we need to ensure, as far as possible, that funds go where they’re meant to go. Some forms of gambling have a high harm potential and it’s important that the legislation governing that industry remains effective”, Mr Dunne said.