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The NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS) has welcomed the new measures designed to minimise harm caused by electronic gambling machines in NSW pubs and clubs.

The measures require venues with more than 20 gaming machines to now have a dedicated Responsible Gaming Officer (RGO) on duty while gaming machines are in operation.

NCOSS CEO Cara Varian said this was an important next step in protecting vulnerable people from the harms of poker machines, but more work needs to be done.

“We know that pokies do their most harm within our disadvantaged communities, so we are pleased to see these measures taking effect this week,” Ms Varian said.

“Under these changes, licensed venues will also be banned from placing signage or advertising related to gaming machines either on, or visible from, ATMs or EFTPOS terminals.

“I’d like to thank the Minister for Gaming and Racing David Harris for leading these reforms, and I look forward to working with him to further reduce the impact of pokies in our State.”

Ms Varian said there are many steps that can be taken to reduce gambling harm in our community, including introducing account based gambling, which is often referred to as cashless gaming.

“Universal and mandatory account based gambling can enable and support proven harm reduction measures that give people more control over how they spend their money on gambling, and help prevent the devastation that gambling harm wreaks on individuals, families and communities.

“It is critically important that we put the wellbeing and safety of our community ahead of pokie profits, and that involves moving to universal and mandatory account based gaming.”

Media contact: Billy Briggs | 0474 697 235