Clubs and pubs must remove VIP Lounge signage promoting poker machines by this Friday or face massive fines from the State Government.
The NSW Government announced in May that all venues must remove, alter or conceal all external gambling-related signs, including fixed unilluminated awning signs and digital video displays.
The Weekender spotted numerous local pubs this week with VIP Lounge signage still prominent.
“Let me be clear, if you have gambling related external signage after September 1 and cannot demonstrate that reasonable steps have been taken to remove it, you will be fined,” said Gaming & Racing Minister, David Harris.
“I’m also calling on the community to help us enforce this ban. If you see a sign which may breach the guidelines after September 1, please report to Liquor and Gaming NSW who will investigate further.”
A gambling related sign means any sign (whether consisting of words, symbols, pictures or any other thing) that draws attention to, or can reasonably be taken to draw attention to, the availability of approved gaming machines in a hotel or on the premises of a club.
Terms such as VIP Room/VIP Lounge, Golden Room/Lounge and Players’ Room/Lounge are among those banned, as well as images of dragons, coins or lightning motifs.
“The NSW Government is taking the next step in our commitment to gaming reform, reducing gambling harm and tackling money laundering,” Harris said.
While pubs with signage still in place will have an opportunity to plead their case initially, from December 1 there will no exceptions and a zero-tolerance approach to any external gambling-related signage.