By Andrew Starke

The NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) has reminded pubs and clubs with gaming machines that it is their responsibility to ensure the ATMs on their premises do not allow patrons to withdraw cash from credit cards.

The move follows a number of high-profile venues being issued with fines after the OLGR found their ATMs offered credit card facilities.

Gaming and Racing Minister Kevin Greene said licensed venues were responsible for ensuring compliance with all gaming harm minimisation requirements.

“Credit card cash withdrawals were banned from ATMs in pubs and clubs in January 2009 by the NSW Government,” he said.

“Since then, our investigators have found eight ATM’s in six venues across NSW providing a credit card withdrawal option.

“The intent of these laws is to stop problem gamblers gambling on credit.

“Overall compliance standards have been extremely high, with just six out of more than 3,000 pubs and clubs found in breach.”

The Coogee Bay Hotel is the latest to be fined for three breaches with the Bankstown Sports Club, the Heritage Hotel in Bulli and the Gordon Hotel in Goulburn amongst those previously issued with penalty notices or warnings.

“The ATM's are not owned by the Coogee Bay Hotel but the ANZ Bank and unbeknownst to us they were in breach of a code,” a spokesperson for the CBH told TheShout.

“As soon as the hotel was notified of the breach, we placed Out of Order signs on the machines until they were re-programmed by the ANZ.”

Greene said the requirement under the Gaming Machines Act prohibits a hotelier or registered club from permitting a cash dispensing facility, such as ATM or EFTPOS, in any part of premises if it is capable of providing cash from a credit card account.

“The majority of venues found to have the banned credit card options did so through ignorance or because of a technical fault with the machine, and they acted immediately to correct the breach, receiving compliance warnings,” he said.

“However there were also examples where machines, sometimes more than one, were knowingly allowed on the premises.
“Venues ignoring the rules in such a manner received penalties of $1,100 per breach.”

Greene said OLGR inspectors will continue to check compliance with ATM and other harm minimisation requirements during audits of licensed venues and in response to complaints.

A maximum penalty of $11,000 applies for pubs and clubs permitting an ATM on the premises with a credit card cash withdrawal option.


The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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