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BUSINESSES URGED TO REMAIN COVID COMPLIANT AND KEEP NSW SAFE

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INTERIM LIQUOR LICENCES APPROVED FOR CROWN’S BARANGAROO CASINO
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The NSW hospitality industry is being put on notice with numerous serious breaches of COVID compliance being detected by Liquor & Gaming NSW inspectors.

Liquor & Gaming Director of Compliance Dimitri Argeres said the developing situation in Victoria is a timely reminder for businesses to remain vigilant as inspectors are still out checking COVID compliance, and that there are no excuses for not requiring patrons to sign-in with the Service NSW QR Code.

“The most recent breaches were detected last week during a COVID compliance blitz on the Central Coast with two venues, Munchas Café at Shelly Beach and BFF Café in Woy Woy, found to be not enforcing patron sign-in using the Service NSW QR code. The BFF Café was also found to have an out-of-date COVID Safety Plan and their physical sign-in register had not been digitised,” Mr Argeres said.

“The courts have also fined three Sydney hospitality businesses a total of $5,400 this month for breaches, sending a strong message to the industry about the importance of COVID compliance.

“This is in addition to restaurants Sushi Hon and Pho Tonkin being fined $5,000 each for COVID non-compliance this month, after a Sydney blitz targeting COVID safety and venues involved in the NSW Government’s Dine & Discover program.

“At this stage of the pandemic, there is simply no excuse for not complying with the check-in requirements. Businesses must be vigilant with their QR code check-in, as this data will be vital in contact tracing if NSW experiences an outbreak like Victoria. Significant penalties, including closure of a venue, apply for non-compliance.

“The majority of clusters in NSW have centred around hospitality venues because of the ease with which the COVID virus can spread in enclosed indoor areas, so it is vital restaurants continue to stay COVID safe.

“There have been some changes and businesses must remain up-to-date. But what has not changed is having robust, digital check in processes that allows for effective contact tracing in the event a positive case has visited the venue.

“Contact tracing is essential in maintaining the health of NSW and helps keeps businesses safe and open. Our inspectors will continue to undertake both uniformed and plain clothes inspections, so if you’re breaking the rules you run a high risk of receiving a hefty fine or a closure in the event of repeat offending,” he said.

Recent court cases relating to breaches of the COVID-19 Public Health Orders include:

On 11 September 2020, L&G Inspectors attended the Ship Inn in Sydney to conduct a COVID-19 compliance check. They found the gaming machines were not spaced 1.5m apart, as required by their COVID-19 Safety Plan. The owner was given a 12-month conditional release order and ordered to pay costs of $3,000.
On 4 November 2020, L&G Inspectors attended the Three Brothers Bakery in Liverpool to conduct a COVID-19 compliance check and found they didn’t have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place. The owner was found guilty and fined $400.
On 17 November 2020, L&G Inspectors attended Fujiyama Japanese Cuisine restaurant in Bankstown to conduct COVID-19 compliance check. They were convicted of not having a COVID Safety Plan, not capturing or digitising all patron records, and not having conditions of entry posted, and fined $2,000.
For more information on NSW COVID Safe Check-in and record keeping requirements visit the Service NSW website.

Australia

PUBLIC HEARINGS TO BE HELD AS PART OF THE STAR CASINO’S LICENCE REVIEW

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PUBLIC HEARINGS TO BE HELD AS PART OF THE STAR CASINO'S LICENCE REVIEW
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Public hearings will be carried out early next year as part of a review of The Star Casino.

The review, which is considering how effectively The Star is complying with its statutory obligations and whether it remains suitable to hold a casino licence, started four weeks ago after Adam Bell SC was appointed by the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA).

Mr Bell has advised ILGA that he considers it in the public’s interest to hold public hearings on matters including but not limited to The Star’s maintenance and administration of systems to counter money laundering and infiltration by organised crime.

ILGA is fully supportive of Mr Bell’s decision, with hearings expected to be held in March 2022. The publicly available report will be due to ILGA by 30 June 2022.

Regular reviews of casinos in NSW are required under the Casino Control Act. The last review of The Star was conducted in 2016 by Jonathan Horton QC.

 

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Australia

Star Sydney Casino Reopens After Three-month Closure

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Star Entertainment has confirmed that the Star Sydney has been allowed to reopen for fully vaccinated customers. The venue will operate at a limited capacity of 1 person per 4 square metres indoors and 1 person per 2 square metres outside.

Casino guests will also be ordered to wear masks and to remain seated while eating or drinking. All of Star Sydney’s staff have been fully vaccinated. It is expected restrictions will be eased once New South Wales reaches an 80% vaccination rate.

Meanwhile, Star Queensland has increased its capacity to 1 person per 2 square metres. Patrons no longer have to be seated while eating or drinking. However, the wearing of masks remains mandatory indoors.

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Australia

Australia: NATIONAL RESEARCH REVEALS ONLINE HABITS DOUBLE IN A DECADE

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Australia: NATIONAL RESEARCH REVEALS ONLINE HABITS DOUBLE IN A DECADE
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A two-year gambling study has revealed more Australians than ever are reaching for their phone to have a punt, with the number of online gamblers doubling in the past decade.

The Second National Study of Interactive Gambling in Australia surveyed more than 15,000 Australians and found 17.5 per cent of adults had gambled online in 2019, up from 8.1 per cent in 2010.

The study, funded by Gambling Research Australia, found that overall gambling participation decreased from 64.3 per cent in 2010, to 56.9 per cent in 2019.

Professor Nerilee Hing, from CQUniversity’s Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory said Australia’s most popular forms of online gambling were lotteries (10.1 per cent of adults), race betting (5.9 per cent) and sports betting (5.8 per cent).

“This growth in online gambling has been driven by faster internet speeds, the convenience of betting on smartphone apps, extensive advertising and inducements, and new betting options like multi-bets,” Professor Hing said.

“New online activities have also been introduced, including e-sports, fantasy sports, skin gambling, and loot boxes.”

The study found the average online gambler was likely to be a young male, better educated than the average Australian, in a de facto relationship, and to gamble across multiple activities.

The Commonwealth and State/Territory Governments are currently implementing the National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering (the National Framework).

The intent of the National Framework is to bring Australian consumer protection measures up to date, to ensure they reflect best practice nationally, and are consistent across jurisdictions. The National Framework consists of 10 consumer protection measures that aim to reduce gambling harm.

This was also the first national study to examine the negative consequences of gambling for gamblers, their family and friends.

Overall, 9.1 per cent of Australian adults experienced some level of harm from their own gambling and 6.0 per cent from another person’s gambling. Online gamblers were twice as likely as land-based only gamblers to experience harm.

The findings from this study will further inform online gambling policy and consumer protection measures across Australia.

Gambling Research Australia is a national gambling research partnership between Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, and chaired by the NSW Government. GRA funds projects of national significance and contributed more than $1 million towards the Second National Study of Interactive Gambling in Australia.

CQUniversity’s Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory is a research initiative to support understanding of games of chance, through experiment, simulation, and observation.

Second National Study of Interactive Gambling in Australia researchers included CQUniversity team members Dr Alex Russell, Professor Matthew Rockloff, Professor Matthew Browne, Nancy Greer and Vijay Rawat, International researcher Dr Anne Salonen (National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland), Associate Professor Nicki Dowling and Dr Stephanie Merkouris (Deakin University), Dr Matthew Stevens (Charles Darwin University), Associate Professor Daniel King (Flinders University), and Linda Woo (former Executive Director of Policy and Projects, Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General).

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