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Various gaming machine reforms commenced on 3 April 2018 as part of the Gaming Machines Amendment (Leasing and Assessment) Act 2018. These legislative amendments implemented recommendations from the 2017 Local Impact Assessment (LIA) Review and introduced the Gaming Machine Entitlement (GME) leasing scheme.

As part of the reforms, the GME leasing scheme was introduced to support small venues that may be struggling financially, to improve their ongoing financial viability. The scheme allows small clubs and hotels to lease, rather than sell, their GMEs to other clubs and hotels respectively. Forfeiture requirements do not apply to leased GMEs and lessees are required to pay a levy to the RGF. The levy is either 5% of the lease price or $1,000 for each year the lease is in place - whichever is greater.

Changes were also made to the LIA process for venues seeking to increase their GMT including:

  • longer community consultation timeframes
  • increased notification requirements to help facilitate consultation
  • a requirement to submit a Local Impact Statement for GMT increase applications exempt from completing a LIA
  • a requirement for venues to make a ‘community benefit payment’ to the RGF.

When the reforms were introduced, the Government committed to evaluating the changes to the LIA scheme and the introduction of the GME leasing scheme three years after their commencement.

The aim of the evaluation was to assess the extent to which the reforms have met their stated objectives. L&GNSW completed this evaluation after consulting with key industry, Government and community stakeholders and analysing a range of internal data sources.

Evaluation of the 2018 Gaming Machine Reforms PDF, 1158.17 KB