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The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) is the independent statutory authority that regulates Victoria's gambling and liquor industries.

Our vision is that Victorians and visitors enjoy safe and responsible gambling and liquor environments.
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Banner displaying electronic gaming machines

Changes to the Gambling Regulation Act for venue operators

On 30 November 2017 and 6 March 2018, the Victorian Parliament passed the Gambling Regulation Amendment (Gaming Machine Arrangements) Act 2017 (GMA Act) and the Gambling Legislation Amendment Act 2018 (GLA Act) respectively. 

These Acts amend the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 (the Act) which mean a number of changes for gaming venue operators.

It is the responsibility of venue operators and licensed staff to ensure they understand their obligations under the Act and to make the necessary arrangements to ensure they remain compliant.

Below is a summary of the relevant changes. For more information read the Fact Sheet (PDF, 337.24 KB)and Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 460.68 KB). 

Further details on how the changes will come into effect will be published on the VCGLR website as it becomes available. 

The Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation’s Second Reading speeches to parliament also contains a summary of the changes contained in the GMA Act and GLA Act.
 

Post-2022 entitlements
  • changes to the gaming machine entitlement framework to provide for the allocation of post 2022-entitlements, including the taxation applicable and the percentage of entitlements that may be held by club and hotel venue operators. Information on these changes are available on the Department of Justice and Regulation’s website.
Club entitlements and assignment agreements
  • an increase to the limit on the maximum number of entitlements that can be held by a club venue operator from 420 to 840.
  • changes to allow a venue operator to assign entitlements to another venue operator for payment including in exchange for a share of gaming revenue
Access to cash in a gaming venue
  • venue operators must ensure that any EFTPOS facility does not allow more than $500 to be withdrawn on any one debit or credit card in an approved gaming venue in a 24 hour period;
  • venue operators must ensure that a person is not able to obtain cash from an EFTPOS facility unless the facility is operated by an employee of the venue operator including by entering the amount of funds to be obtained;
  • where accumulated credits on a gaming machine exceed $2000 (previously, $1000), they may not be paid out in cash and must be:
    • paid out by cheque; or
    • paid out via electronic funds transfer (but only if the transfer occurs in a way that means they are not available to the person for 24 hours after the transfer)
  • prohibiting the promotion or operation of cheque cashing services in gaming venues or on approved gaming venue property, including the cashing of cheques by venue operators (previously, venue operators could exchange cheques for cash to a person for up to $400 per day);
  • prohibiting venue operators who allow a cheque cashing service to publish advertising or operate on their premises
Cashless gaming
  • venue operators must not offer a non-cash gaming token, or offer to increase the value of a non-cash gaming token, as an inducement to gamble (for example, providing non-cash gaming tokens for free, at a discount or as part of a promotion);
  • venue operators must not allow patrons to purchase non-cash gaming tokens, or increase the value of a non-cash gaming token, by using a cash advance from a credit account;
  • a person will be prohibited from influencing or enticing a player to be paid out gaming machine winnings or accumulated credits through a non-cash gaming token; and
  • a new power to enable regulations to be made regarding gaming that involves non-cash gaming tokens.
Responsible Gambling Codes of Conduct (Codes) and Self-Exclusion Programs (SEPs)
  • From 18 July 2018, it is no longer a requirement for the VCGLR to approve Codes and SEPs. Venue operators are no longer required to submit the annual review of their Codes and SEPs to the VCGLR on an annual basis but they still must be made available to VCGLR inspectors on request. Note: this amendment was introduced by the passing of the Liquor and Gambling Legislation Amendment Act 2018 on 5 June 2018
  • From 19 September 2018, the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation (the Minister) will have the power to issue directions concerning the content, standards and requirements for Codes and, for SEPs, the standards, requirements, monitoring and reporting that venue operators must meet.
Standard conditions
  • the Minister will have the power to make standard conditions in relation to entitlements, gaming machine monitoring and pre-commitment.
Advertising by wagering service providers

From 9 May 2018, wagering service providers must not publish static betting advertising in the places at which it is prohibited. This is 

  • within 150 metres of the perimeter of a school
  • on public transport infrastructure, including fixed infrastructure such as train stations, bus shelters and tram stops and moving infrastructure such as trams, trains, ferries, buses and taxis
  • on or above public roads, road reserves and road infrastructure

The prohibition will not apply to any static betting advertising published under a contract or agreement entered into before 17 September 2017 for a period of two years. This provides reasonable time for wagering service providers to conclude existing contracts for the publication of static betting advertising.

Player activity statements

As of 18 July 2018, loyalty scheme providers will only be required to issue annual player activity statements to persons who have played a gaming machine under a loyalty scheme during the statement period (active participants).

Loyalty scheme providers are not required to issue activity statements to persons who have not played a gaming machine under a loyalty scheme during the statement period (non-active participants), unless a statement is requested by the non-active participant. If such a request is received, a loyalty scheme provider must provide a statement free of charge for the first request, and may charge a fee not exceeding $20, for any subsequent requests for an additional copy of that statement.

Active participants who have elected to collect their activity statements from a gaming venue must do so within one month on which notice of the availability of the statement is sent. If they fail to collect the statement within this period, a loyalty scheme provider must suspend the player from the loyalty scheme until collection has occurred or the participant is removed from the scheme.

Note: this amendment was introduced by the passing of the Liquor and Gambling Legislation Amendment Act 2018 on 5 June 2018

 

When will the changes be implemented?

The Fact Sheet contains details of when each provision comes into effect.

Some are already in effect and all changes will be in effect by 19 September 2018.

Ministerial directions will be required for a number of these changes to be implemented. These will provide further details about how arrangements will operate.

More information will be published on the VCGLR website as it becomes available.