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policy
6 June 2024

Responsible Gambling Officer (RGO)

As part of a suite of gaming reforms to identify and support patrons at risk of gambling harm, the NSW Government has committed to the introduction of Responsible Gambling Officers (RGOs) into hotels and clubs with more than 20 gaming machine entitlements.

What are venue responsibilities under the requirement?

The new requirements, which commence 1 July 2024, will be implemented through amendments to the Gaming Machines Regulation 2019.

Venues are required to:

How many RGOs must be on duty?

All hotel and club staff, including those working on the floor and senior management, have a shared responsibility to proactively engage with patrons and monitor them for potential gambling harm. An RGO will be expected to have a higher level of responsibility than other gaming staff on the floor.

The purpose of RGOs is to promote proactive gambling harm minimisation.

RGOs will be required at all times when gaming machines are in operation. The number of RGOs a venue must have is scaled depending on the number of gaming machine entitlements a venue holds to ensure adequate supervision of patrons gambling on gaming machines.

Any time gaming machines are operating between midnight and 8am, at least one (1) RGO must be primarily focused on the RGO duties. This is to minimise the increased risk of gambling harm late at night.

The number of RGOs a venue must have on duty is summarised below:

Number of Gaming Machine Entitlements

Number of Responsible Gambling Officers (RGOs) Required

Requirements between midnight and 8am ('late-night')

Between 21 – 99

One (1) RGO on duty when gaming machines are in operation

One (1) nominated RGO to be primarily focused on RGO duties

Between 100 – 299

Two (2) RGOs on duty when gaming machines are in operation

One (1) nominated RGO to be primarily focused on RGO duties

300 or more

Three (3) RGOs on duty when gaming machines are in operation

Two (2) nominated RGOs to be primarily focused on RGO duties

No gaming machines

If your venue holds Gaming Machine Entitlements (GMEs), but does not have any gaming machines in operation, you do not need to have Responsible Gambling Officers on duty. You do not need to apply for this exemption.

What if I have less gaming machines in operation than GMEs

There will be an exemption process in place for venues where the number of GMEs they hold is significantly higher than the number of machines in operation. Some conditions will apply. Contact us for more information.

What is the role of Responsible Gambling Officers?

Ordinary role of RGO (8am to midnight)

RGOs will have a range of duties, including (but not limited to):

  • Act as an escalation point, including for staff to contact if they suspect a patron is suffering gambling harm
  • Proactively check-in on and engage with patrons where the RGO suspects they may be experiencing gambling harm
  • Record gambling incidents in the Gambling Incident Register
  • Escalate serious instances of gambling harm to senior management
  • Facilitate the provision of gambling support information and requests for self exclusion

Before midnight, RGOs can carry out other duties around the premises in addition to their RGO responsibilities. However, they must still be able to carry out their RGO responsibilities, including monitoring the area of the venue with gaming machines or responding to issues escalated to them by other employees.

RGOs will also be protected from adverse action by their employer for carrying out their role and will have a right to report harm minimisation breaches.

Role of a “nominated RGO” between midnight and 8am

The role of a “nominated RGO” after midnight is to actively monitor the part of the venue with gaming machines.

RGOs “primarily focused” on their duties are permitted to perform other tasks that allow them to continue supervising areas in the venue with gaming machines. This includes duties that allow RGOs to interact with, and monitor, patrons playing gaming machines.

Other tasks an RGO “primarily focused” on their duties can undertake include:

  • incidental tasks, such as emptying bins, clearing glasses, cleaning tables
  • other gambling duties such as TAB or Keno payouts where it is not their primary duty and they can do so while retaining visibility over the gaming machine area,
  • serving alcohol where it is not their primary duty and they can do so while retaining visibility over the gaming machine area (for example where there is a bar in the gaming machine area).

These are just examples - the tasks an RGO “primarily focused” on their duties may undertake will depend on the circumstances of each venue.

Frequently asked questions are available.

Training requirements

The introduction of Responsible Gambling Officers also includes a new approach to training, to help minimise gambling harm.

RCG

ARCG

Responsible Gambling Board Oversight Training*

Currently:

All staff involved in conduct of activities involving approved gaming machines, including hotel licensees and club secretaries

By 31 December 2024:

  • Directors of a company that owns one or more hotels/ where the director has an   operational role in the business,
  • Club directors (unless they have completed a Responsible Gambling Board Oversight training approved by L&G NSW)

By 30 June 2024:

  • Staff undertaking Responsible Gambling Officer duties
  • Managers who supervise RGOs

By 30 September 2024:

  • Approved managers
  • Hotel licensees
  • Club secretaries

By 30 June 2025:

  • Directors of a company that owns one or more hotels/ where the director has an operational role in the business
  • Club directors (unless they have completed a Responsible Gambling Board Oversight Training approved by L&G NSW)

By 31 December 2024:

  • Club directors

(unless they opt to complete RCG by 31 December 2024 and ARCG by 30 June 2025)

*The requirement will be to complete a Responsible Gambling Board Oversight that has been approved by L&G NSW.

Find an approved training provider. ARCG can be completed online in a virtual-classroom format.