Family ban on gamblers
FAMILIES will be able to have loved ones banned from gambling venues under a pre-election agreement struck between clubs and the state government.
The government has promised it will not raise gaming taxes should it be re-elected in March and the industry will be free to explore new gaming technologies.
Also, the mandated contri- bution clubs must make to communities as part of the ClubGrants scheme will remain unchanged, although the program will be expanded to allow the industry to plough more money into drought initiatives.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Nationals leader John Barilaro signed the memorandum of agreement with Clubs NSW, which is designed to give the industry certainty over the next term of government.
The 12-point agreement also includes the creation of a regional club trainee employment program, the formalisation of a partnership between Clubs, TAFE and other education providers, and allows for the government to support the establishment of new clubs.
Clubs NSW chief executive officer Anthony Ball said it was the fourth such agreement between the Coalition and ClubsNSW.
“This agreement recognises the pivotal role clubs play in building and sustaining communities,” he said.
“The government has recognised this and has provided us with the certainty we need to get on with the job of looking after our millions of members and tens of thousands of employees.
“As a result, we’ll see more charities supported, more junior footy teams on the paddock and more social infrastructure built for the people of NSW.”
The agreement will also allow clubs to forge closer ties with the community, from the promotion of the use of club facilities by TAFE and other training organisations, to requiring the government to consider options for Service NSW kiosks in venues in isolated areas of the state.
It also requires the government to support the establishment of new clubs “so that new communities have access to an important social hub”.
The agreement also binds the government to committing to a gambling policy environ- ment “informed by research and evidence”, with new harm minimisation measures to include third-party exclusions, the reduction of a cash input limit from $7500 to $5000, and advanced staff training programs in responsible gambling.
The gaming tax freeze is a major victory for the industry, which is expected to contribute $3.4 billion to the state’s coffers over the next four years.
Clubs NSW says the industry employs 43,000 people, with 23,000 in regional areas alone.