Clubs, Liquor & Gaming Machine commenced 30 March 2012
Clubs, Liquor and Gaming Machines Legislation Amendment Act 2011
Registered Clubs Amendment (Club Amalgamations and De-amalgamations) Regulation 2012
Liquor Amendment (Miscellaneous) Regulation 2012
Gaming Machines Amendment (Miscellaneous) Regulation 2012
Casino Control Amendment (Liquor Act Application) Regulation 2012
Reforms introduced by the Clubs, Liquor and Gaming Machines Legislation Amendment Act 2011 commenced on 30 March 2012.
The reforms include a new framework for registered club de-amalgamations, new requirements for loan and management contracts in registered clubs, provision for registered club de-amalgamations, provision for liquor sales in hotels to cease while the hotel remains open to the public, and broader forfeiture concessions for gaming machine entitlement transfers between related clubs.
New regulations were also introduced on 30 March 2012 to support these reforms. The Regulations also establish new offences for responsible service of alcohol and responsible conduct of gambling training.
The following summary contains information about the reforms and other amendments which commenced on 30 March 2012.
A new regulatory framework specifically provides for amalgamated registered clubs to de-amalgamate, or separate, while ensuring the financial viability of the de-amalgamating club is maintained, as well as a high level of transparency for club members.
The framework enables a club licence to be transferred from the amalgamated club to the de-amalgamating club. It provides forfeiture concessions from the transfer of gaming machine entitlements as part of a de-amalgamation. It also includes requirements relating to the notification and provision of information about a proposed de-amalgamation to club members.
Broader forfeiture concessions for related clubs
Gaming machine entitlement transfers between related or amalgamated club premises, irrespective of local government area, are no longer subject to the forfeiture requirements under the Gaming Machines Act 2001. However, the local impact assessment requirements still apply. Previously, related or amalgamated clubs were required to forfeit one out of every six entitlements when transferred between premises.
The broader forfeiture concession will assist club amalgamations by allowing related or amalgamated clubs to retain all their entitlements when relocating them to their other club premises. In the past, the forfeiture requirements have been a significant disincentive to club amalgamations as gaming machine entitlements are significant assets to clubs.
Loan and management contracts in clubs
New requirements apply to registered clubs that enter into loan or management contracts. This fulfils a commitment under the Government's Memorandum of Understanding with the club industry to prevent the private takeover of clubs and their community assets by private interests and entrepreneurs.
Clubs that enter into prescribed loan or management contracts must notify club members of the proposed contract, and provide the Director General, Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services, with a report one month before entering into the proposed contract.
Upon reviewing the proposed contract, if the Director General considers that it does not comply with the Registered Clubs Act 1976, or is not in the interests of the club and its members, the Director General may direct the club to:
- not enter into the contract,
- amend the contract either before or after entering into it, or
- terminate the contract if it has already been entered into.
The new requirements complement earlier amendments to the Registered Clubs Act 1976 to protect clubs from private interests.
For further information about the new notification and reporting requirements, and a copy of the guidelines, refer to the loans and management contract webpage.
Cessation of liquor sales in hotels during trading hours
Hoteliers can now trade at certain times of the day without the need to sell liquor, while providing other goods and services such as non-alcoholic beverages, food, entertainment, conference facilities, and in certain circumstances, gambling activities.
Reforms to the primary purpose test in the Liquor Act 2007 now provide an exemption to the requirement that hoteliers must sell and supply liquor by retail at all times. Hoteliers can diversify their operations without the need for liquor to be available at all times. For example, hoteliers can offer a breakfast service and/or use of facilities for meetings and conferences in the morning without the need to operate a bar supplying alcohol.
However, hoteliers cannot cease serving liquor while any type of gambling activity is available during the standard trading period (ie. 5am – midnight Monday to Saturday and 10am – 10pm Sunday) unless approval has been obtained from the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority. When considering an application, the Authority must be satisfied that the operation of gaming machines will not detract unduly from the character of the hotel. It must also be satisfied that gambling activities will be conducted in a responsible manner.
The reforms also allow hotels to cease selling liquor and continue to provide other services, including gambling activities, during extended trading periods that have been approved under the liquor laws. Approval from the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority is not required for liquor sales to cease during approved extended trading periods. Extended trading periods generally commence after midnight Monday to Saturday, and after 10pm on Sundays.
As part of these reforms, new requirements have been introduced where hoteliers apply for permanent extended trading hours under the Liquor Act. Hoteliers must:
- outline the proposed gambling-related activities that will be available during the extended trading period, and
- consult with any organisation in the local government area that receives funding from the Responsible Gambling Fund to provide gambling counselling services
as part of the community impact statement that is required to be prepared before lodging an extended trading authorisation application.
As well as allowing hoteliers to reduce costs and diversify their operations, the reforms can help to reduce reliance on liquor sales, particularly where there are concerns about patrons gambling under the influence of alcohol.
New offences for RSA and RCG training
Training providers are now subject to significant new penalties of up to $11,000 for fraudulent activities relating to the provision of responsible service of alcohol (RSA) or responsible conduct of gambling (RCG) training.
The new offences strengthen the regulatory framework for RSA and RCG training in NSW, following an Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry that identified fraudulent and corrupt activity in this, and other, training sectors.
Approved training providers now face penalties of up to $11,000 for breaching conditions of approval, or if they issue an interim certificate to a person who has not successfully completed an approved course. These new penalties also apply to non-approved persons who offer to provide training or imply that they are qualified to offer approved RSA or RCG training.
Gaming machine threshold scheme
A hotel's gaming machine threshold now decreases when transferring poker machine permits from the hotel. Changes to the Gaming Machines Act 2001 better aligns poker machine permit trading with gaming machine entitlement trading. An exemption from the Local Impact Assessment process has also been reinstated so that hotels can transfer permits within the same local government area without having to undergo the LIA process.