The New South Wales (NSW) government has announced a $100 million funding injection to reduce gambling harm across the state.
The funding for gambling harm minimisation comes as part of the first Minns Labor Government Budget and is the next step in the government’s long-term commitment to tackle money laundering, implement gaming reform, and reduce the harmful impacts of gambling across communities.
The NSW Government will redirect the $100 million fine imposed on Star Casino by the NSW Independent Casino Commission (NICC) over 5 years to fund harm minimisation initiatives.
This huge funding injection will allow for the enhancement of services and initiatives to reduce harm in the community from gambling including:
- $10 million additional investment in 2023-24 for the Responsible Gambling Fund, through the Office of Responsible Gambling, for the provision of GambleAware counselling and support services, awareness and education campaigns and initiatives like Reclaim the Game, and to support world-leading gambling research.
- $6.4 million to enhance self-exclusion and introduce third-party exclusions in pubs and clubs.
- $3.4 million for the independent expert panel, established in July this year, to run and evaluate a 12-month cashless gaming trial in pubs and clubs, with expressions of interests recently called for venues to take part.
- $21.7 million each year, for 3 years from financial year 24-25, to fund other gambling harm minimisation initiatives and reforms, including those recommended by the Independent Panel.
“This government has a clear focus and is committed to evidence-based reform. We know that when gambling becomes a problem, it is harmful to the person and the people around them, negatively impacting relationships, work life, finances and physical and mental wellbeing,” David Harris, Minister for Gaming and Racing, said.
Since being elected in March, the Minns Labor Government has banned political donations from clubs involved in gaming, established an independent panel to oversee a comprehensive trial of cashless gaming and recommend a roadmap for gaming reform in NSW. It has also reduced the cash input limit from $5000 to $500 for all new poker machines since July 1, slashed the number of gaming machine entitlements allowed in NSW by more than 3000 and banned all external gambling-related signage since September 1.