September 21, 2023 3 min read


New South Wales Government Allocates $100M to Combat Gambling Harm

This substantial investment comes from the redirection of fines imposed on Star Casino and signifies the government’s ongoing commitment to tackling gambling-related harm

In a significant move to address gambling harm in New South Wales (NSW), the state government has pledged $100 million in funding for initiatives and services to reduce the industry’s harmful effects on communities. This commitment is a part of the first Minns Labor Government Budget, reflecting their long-term dedication to combating money laundering, implementing gaming reforms, and mitigating the social consequences of gambling.

The Extra Funds Are a Welcome Boon

The $100 million injection will encompass various areas, covering the most pressing issues. The 2024-25 financial year will see gambling harm minimization initiatives and reforms receive $21.7 million annually for three years. The recently introduced gambling reform panel will select worthy initiatives and distribute these funds accordingly.

The second most substantial portion of the funding, $10 million, will bolster the Responsible Gambling Fund through the Office of Responsible Gambling. The extra capital will support GambleAware’s counseling and support services, awareness and education campaigns, initiatives like “Reclaim the Game,” and cutting-edge gambling research. These will hopefully provide long-term reductions in problem gambling rates.

An additional $6.4 million will enhance self-exclusion programs and introduce third-party exclusions in pubs and clubs, providing individuals with more tools to control their gambling habits. The remaining $3.4 million will help facilitate the upcoming 12-month cashless gaming trial at select venues, paving the way for broader reforms.

These Initiatives Form a Broader Agenda

Since its election in March, the Minns Labor Government has undertaken several significant steps to address gambling-related issues in NSW. These efforts include banning political donations from clubs involved in gaming, launching an independent panel to oversee a comprehensive cashless gaming trial, reducing cash input limits for new poker machines, reducing gaming machine entitlements, and banning external gambling-related signage.

This extra funding was possible due to the substantial fines imposed on Star Casino by the NSW Independent Casino Commission (NICC). The financial boon to select initiatives should hopefully lead to a safer, more sustainable industry, offsetting the damage by the problematic operator. Such actions perfectly align with NSW’s rising focus on gambling harm prevention and will form the foundation for future changes.

This government has a clear focus and is committed to evidence-based reform.

David Harris, Minister for Gaming and Racing

Despite the NSW government’s efforts, years of ineffective regulations and lack of enforcement have caused significant gaming-related issues as gambling harm rates remain high. Remedying such deficiencies will be long and arduous, but recent initiatives show substantial promise. If the government remains steadfast with its planned reforms, it should achieve noticeable improvements.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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