May 19, 2023 3 min read


New Regulations in NSW to Ban External Gambling Signs

The reform led by the NSW Government started with the prohibition of donations from pubs and clubs that offer gambling machines and now expands to remove external gambling-related signage

After the recent elections in NSW, the Government is taking action against the promotion and advertising of gambling in an effort to reduce problem gambling. On Friday, the NSW Minister for Gaming and Racing confirmed new restrictions for external signage promoting gambling. The change marks another effort in protecting customers from excessive gambling and it comes after lawmakers pushed legislation that stopped clubs with gambling machines from making donations to political parties in NSW.

Now, the expanded effort will involve not only electronic but static signs as well. Pubs and clubs will have to remove or alter any external signs that are related to the promotion of gambling. This will include, and is not limited to video displays, traditional signs, as well as illuminated signs.

Under the new regulations, signs that offer VIP Lounge, VIP Room, Golden Room/Lounge, Players’ Room/Lounge, Prosperity Room/Lounge and other related names are banned. Moreover, the regulation restricts pubs and clubs from using images such as coins, dragons and other gambling-related imagery.

Operators Need to Comply by September 1, 2023

David Harris, the Minister for Gaming and Racing in NSW, explained that gambling signs offering VIP rooms or lounges have taken over the external parts of buildings that are used as pubs and clubs offering gambling machines. “Some of these signs are extremely prominent, can be seen by children and members of the community who are at risk of gambling harm,” he explained.

Additionally, Harris spoke about the way operators were able to effectively avoid the existing prohibition of gambling advertising by using text such as “VIP Lounges.” In conclusion, he said that in an effort to protect the state’s residents, the government is closing the loophole that allowed gambling advertising.

The facades of pubs and clubs across the state are littered with signs such as ‘VIP lounge’ to alert those walking or driving by that they have gaming machines.

David Harris, Minister for Gaming and Racing in NSW

The prohibition is described as a gradual process. Starting next week, the NSW Government will begin notifying businesses about the changes they need to introduce to their external signs. After that, they will be given three months to implement changes to their external signs or in some cases, completely remove them.

As of September 1, 2023, the new regulations will come into effect. Any signs promoting gambling like “VIP Lounges” would need to be removed by that date. An exception of an additional 3 months will only be applicable for venues that cannot make changes to the signs “that are outside of their control.”

However, following the extended period, the regulations feature a zero-tolerance policy. If after the new regulations are implemented, there are businesses that do not comply, fines of AU$11,000 per offense can be enforced.


William Velichkov is a research-driven writer. His strengths lie in ensuring factual accuracy, vetting government documentation and reaching out to regulators and other officials. He is particularly fond of financial reporting, the sports betting industry, B2B partnerships and esports betting developments. William is a strong asset to the GamblingNews team as he adds a bedrock to our reporting.

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