Gambling signage to be stripped from NSW pubs and clubs

·2-min read
Tracey Nearmy/AAP PHOTOS

Gambling-related signage will be removed from outside pubs and clubs across NSW as the new Labor government moves to honour an election pledge.

All external gambling-related signs will need to be removed or altered before September 1 after Premier Chris Minns promised to crack down on the pokie industry.

Pubs and clubs will be formally notified from next week and will have three months to remove the signage.

Names such as "VIP room" and "VIP lounge" will be among the banned terms, while images of dragons, coins or lightning will also be barred from club signage.

Gaming Minister David Harris said there were already laws in place to prohibit gaming- related signage, but venue operators are able to circumvent the system by advertising so-called "VIP lounges".

"The facades of pubs and clubs across the state are littered with signs such as 'VIP lounge' to alert those walking or driving by that they have gaming machines," he said.

"We are putting an end to this loophole."

The government said it would work with industry associations and venues across NSW during the transition period.

Those that failed to remove their signs could face penalties of up to $11,000 for each offence.

Mr Minns has also promised a cashless card trial on 500 machines from July 1 and other measures such as a reduction in pokie machines and a ban on political donations from clubs with gaming operations.

The former coalition government pledged to go further and introduce mandatory cashless gaming cards across the state with a daily spending cap.

But Wesley Mission said it's new survey shows 56.7 per cent of NSW residents think the government should abandon the 500-machine trial and instead fully implement a cashless system for poker machines.

"Casino-based poker machines in NSW will be cashless next year, and all Tasmania's poker machines will be as well," Wesley Mission CEO Rev Stu Cameron said on Friday.

"There is also sufficient evidence from the successful implementation of cashless systems overseas to inform a full roll-out in NSW".

The Wesley survey, which involved 1000 people, also found 70 per of NSW residents don't think the government is doing enough to reform the poker machine industry and 66 per cent think it has too much influence on government policy.

"Community concern about the level of harm caused by poker machines remains very high," Rev Cameron said.

"One in three people told us they knew a colleague, friend or family member who has been harmed by playing poker machines."

Last month, NSW Liquor and Gaming revealed a record $8.1 billion was lost to poker machines in NSW last year - equivalent to $1000 for every adult and child in the state.