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24 December 2019
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Reforms

In December 2019, State Parliament passed significant reforms to the regulation of the gambling sector in South Australia, building on the decision taken in December 2018 to bring all gambling regulation and policy functions under the jurisdiction of the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner within Consumer and Business Services (CBS). 

Key changes include:

  • allowing gaming machines to be operated using a banknote, subject to the following restrictions: 
    • banknotes with a denomination greater than $50 are not allowed
    • the cash value of the credit balance must be less than $100
    • facial recognition technology is to be used in venues which are approved to operate 30 or more gaming machines, if any machines have banknote acceptors
  • allowing gaming machines to be fitted with ticket printers, giving players the option to redeem credits using a barcoded ticket (noting that 'ticket-in ticket-out' or TITO technology - where tickets can be inserted directly into a machine instead of a banknote or coin - is not allowed unless prescribed by regulation.)
  • limiting the withdrawal limit from any one cash facility (eg EFTPOS or an ATM) on one debit or credit card within 24 hours to $250
  • better protections for people at risk of gambling related harm, with the ability to impose barring orders for an unlimited period, as well as for premises of multiple gambling providers 
  • increased penalties and fines for breaches involving barred persons or minors who enter gaming areas 
  • licence holders and authorised betting operators will be required to notify the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner of any changes to details such as address for service, email address, telephone number of postal address within 14 days
  • reforms to the Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund, including: 
    • an extra one million dollars a year for additional support services to assist in the early intervention of people at risk of harm from gambling
    • an annual reporting requirement disclosing how funds have been dispersed
    • a requirement that unclaimed winnings, residual jackpots on decommissioned machines and money won by barred patrons is forfeited and paid to the fund
  • introduction of a new Community Impact and Public Interest test, to replace the current Social Effect Inquiry Process, a pre-requisite for new gaming machine licences. New community impact guidelines will also be developed to enable an assessment of the likely impact on the community to be assessed
  • streamlined, uniform arrangements covering:
    • the Commissioner's powers of inquiry and direction
    • the prescription of advertising and responsible gambling codes of practice and gambling administration guidelines
    • the appointment of inspectors and their powers
    • powers for compliance, enforcement and disciplinary action
    • rights for gambling providers seeking a review of a decision before the Licensing Court of South Australia
  • other changes to increase efficiency and reduce red tape for gaming machine licence holders include: 
    • allowing a gaming machine licence to be moved to a new location with the associated liquor licence (referred to as a removal) provided both the old and new premises are in the same locality
    • allowing clubs with a licence to amalgamate with other clubs or to transfer gaming machine entitlements between clubs
    • removal of mandatory 5 and 10 year time limits on the approval of games and gaming machines
    • allowing licensees to hold both a gaming machine dealer's licence and a gaming machine service licence. 

While the current target of reducing the number of gaming machines in South Australia by 3,000 machines will remain in place, a review of the current trading system will be undertaken within two years to identify a more efficient system to achieve the target and for venues to buy and sell entitlements. 

The ban on gaming areas operating in hotels, clubs and the Adelaide Casino on Christmas Day and Good Friday will remain in place. 

Lotteries

Key changes under the new Lotteries Act 2019 include: 

  • expanding the powers of the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner to: 
    • allow exemptions for a lottery or class of lotteries
    • add, vary and revoke licence conditions
  • allowing unincorporated associations to nominate a person responsible for complying with requirements under the Act
  • allowing for the renewal of lottery licences
  • requiring licensees to notify the Commissioner of changes to details such as address for service, email address, telephone number of postal address, within 14 days
  • introduction of fines for lottery offences.

Legislation

These Acts are yet to commence. 

What happens next? 

It is anticipated that these changes will be implemented in stages during the second half of 2020. 

CBS has established a project team which will manage the implementation of these changes, including any lead in times that may be required. The project team will soon commence consultation with industry and stakeholders seeking feedback on the next stage of the reforms. 

This will include consultation on the regulations, codes of practice, community impact assessment guidelines and gambling administration guidelines in the first half of 2020. 

Keep checking this website for updates or sign up for gaming e-notification updates.

Background

On December 1 2018, Consumer and Business Services (CBS) assumed responsibility for all gambling regulatory and policy functions in South Australia – including those previously overseen by the Independent Gambling Authority.

These reforms arose from recommendations in the review by the Hon Tim Anderson QC.

You can read the review on parliament.sa.gov.au by searching 'Tabled Papers and Petitions'.

Search instructions - In the 'Search Text' field, include the full name of the report - Gambling Regulation in South Australia, Administrative Review of - Report 9 December 2016.

Further information

For any queries relating to gambling regulation, enforcement or barring orders, please contact CBS on 131 882 or gamblingadministration [at] sa.gov.au

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