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Gambling reforms to delivery more money for people at risk

14 November 2019

The State Government will inject an additional one million dollars a year into South Australia's Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund, to further enhance the mechanisms for supporting people at risk of gambling related harm.

The Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said that if the reforms pass State Parliament, the additional funding would be used to fund support services like in-venue counsellors who are properly trained to visit venues and interact with patrons to assist in the early intervention of people at risk of gambling harm, among other options broader than what is currently offered by the Fund.

"As I've consistently said, our gambling reforms have two key goals - support an important part of our economy and community, and ensure there are strong protections in place for vulnerable South Australians who find themselves needing support," Ms Chapman said.

"We have already announced our intention to ensure money won by barred patrons and any unclaimed winnings are paid direct into the Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund while strengthening the rules around barring orders.

"Further, by expanding the scope of the Fund, and providing extra funding, we can deliver initiatives that can help venues strengthen their processes so they seek out and identify problem gamblers in venues and are able to refer them to appropriate help services."

Ms Chapman said the Government has considered the submissions from help providers, research institutes and the industry to make these reforms the most comprehensive they can be.

"These measures will all help us better protect people at risk of gambling harm, complementing the measures we had already put forward," Ms Chapman said.

The Government has also agreed to a number of measures including:

  • mandating facial recognition in venues with more than 30 machines to better detect people barred from gaming rooms
  • mandating a maximum of $50 notes in note acceptors on gaming machines
  • retaining the gaming machine reduction of 3000 machines and formulating a more efficient system for clubs and hotels to sell their machine entitlements
  • prohibiting gaming rooms from operating on Good Friday and Christmas Day
  • retaining the current limit of machines at club venues.

In working towards reform in these areas, the Government will also progress with greater transparency around online gambling data that is collected, and will move to establish a Committee in the House of Assembly to investigate online wagering and sports betting in SA.