Responsible Service September 2011
Proposed gaming machine reforms have been the subject of lively discussion between all Australian jurisdictions over recent months.
In May, I attended the third meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Select Council on Gambling Reform which discussed the proposed reforms at length. I stated that the Queensland Government continues to support a voluntary system of pre-commitment on gaming machines.
The benefits of voluntary pre-commitment have been proven through Queensland trials of the technology in 2005 and 2008. To date more than 45 venues in Queensland have voluntarily adopted the technology.
In addition to contributing to extensive discussions on pre-commitment, I also expressed Queensland’s commitment to facilitate a trial of standard warning messages on electronic gaming machines, support a prohibition on quoting live odds during sports coverage and an examination of internet gambling. The measures are discussed in greater detail later in this newsletter.
These harm minimisation strategies are complex and require serious consideration at a state and national level. The Queensland Government, together with other state, territory and federal governments will continue to debate and analyse a number of harm minimisation initiatives and explore what impacts these initiatives might have on the industry, economy, jobs and the community.
Learn more about the proposed gambling reforms in this issue of Responsible Service.
Hon Paul Lucas MP
Deputy Premier and Attorney-General, Minister for Local Government and Special
Minister of State
The State Government’s response to last year’s parliamentary inquiry into alcohol-related violence includes the implementation of a more consistent and streamlined approach to liquor and gaming industry regulation.
As a result, the former Queensland Gaming Commission (QGC) became the Queensland Liquor and Gaming Commission (QLGC) on 1 July 2011.
The QLGC is now responsible for granting, suspending and cancelling gaming-related licences and liquor licences for hotels, community clubs and nightclubs. The expansion of responsibilities means that the QLGC will now hear both liquor and gaming machine matters, ensuring more consistent and efficient decision making across the industries. Visit the OLGR website for information about the QLGC.
Now to the subject of liquor accords, as I am pleased to announce that the State Government provided almost $107,000 to liquor accord groups through a one-off Queensland Government grants program.
Liquor accords are voluntary groups formed by licensees, local business, government representatives and community stakeholders that work hard to provide safe and well managed environments in and around licensed premises.
In June, 32 eligible accords received full or partial funding under the program for their nominated projects.
The grants, which were up to $5000 per accord, will make a difference to local communities by encouraging the development and delivery of best practice harm minimisation initiatives across the state. Some of the funded initiatives include awareness campaigns against alcohol related violence, in-venue signage and training programs for volunteers, students and security guards.
To view the full list of the successful groups and for more information about Queensland’s liquor accords, visit the accords section on this website.
Accords do a great job and I call on more licensees to join one of over 90 active liquor accords in Queensland.
Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation
The due date for the annual liquor licence fees has now expired. Payment of the annual fee was due by 1 August 2011.
Licensees who missed the 1 August deadline had their licence automatically suspended under the provisions of the Liquor Act 1992 and were unable to trade. Prompt payment of the annual fee was critical as those which remained unpaid as at midnight 29 August resulted in the licence being automatically cancelled. It is important to understand the implications of this because in order to re-establish a licence, a new application will have to be lodged and the applicant will have to go through the full application process and incur the associated expenses.
Significantly, any associated gaming machine licence will also be cancelled and its operating authorities or entitlements will become government property, with no compensation payable.
Furthermore, if extended trading hours are approved for the venue and the licence is cancelled, the extended hours approval is also cancelled. Currently, there is a moratorium on applications for extended hours approvals after midnight and unless a premises is within a designated exemption area, an application to re-apply for those hours may not be lodged.
OLGR now has a new online application form for individuals seeking to be licensed in the liquor and/or gaming industry.
The online form replaces thirteen separate application forms and will significantly simplify the lodgement process. Required documentation can easily be uploaded and the prescribed fee can be paid online.
The online form can be used when applying for these licences or approvals:
- Liquor approved manager
- Gaming employee
- Gaming nominee
- Gaming repairer
- Key monitoring employee
- Wagering key person
- Keno employee
- Lottery key person.
Feedback on the new online application form or suggestions for improvements to other
OLGR services can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over recent months high-profile discussions have taken place at a national level about proposed gambling reforms.
The proposed reforms were discussed in detail at the third meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Select Council on Gambling Reform, convened in Canberra earlier this year. Below is a summary of the proposed reforms and discussion.
Mandatory pre-commitment on gaming machines
Discussion centred on a pre-commitment scheme for all gaming machine players covering all venues and machines. Select Council members agreed that pre-commitment is a useful tool to help people set limits on how much they want to spend on gaming machines and stick to them.
However, agreement was not reached on whether pre-commitment technology should be used on a voluntary or mandatory basis.
The Queensland Government continues to support voluntary pre-commitment which has been proven through Queensland trials of the technology. The Queensland trials show precommitment technology encourages players to think about the affordability of their spending, and after local trials in 2005 and 2008 more than 45 venues have voluntarily adopted the technology.
Select Council members agreed to support the required infrastructure for pre-commitment technology in all jurisdictions and also agreed that all new gaming machines will be required to have the pre-commitment functionality from a date to be agreed.
The Select Council acknowledged that small venues may need special consideration. The Queensland Government believes that imposing mandatory or even rapid voluntary precommitment would have a significant financial impact on small venues.
Live betting odds
The promotion of live betting odds during sporting events was discussed and the Queensland Government supports the Commonwealth Government's proposal to take action to reduce and control this promotion.
The Queensland Government is concerned that children are particularly susceptible to gambling advertising and that it may 'normalise' sports betting, which may lead to the development of gambling problems in some young people.
The current Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice provides an exemption from the ban on advertising gambling or betting during 'G' classification periods during a sporting program. The Productivity Commission has recommended that the code be reviewed to determine whether the exemption is appropriate during key children's viewing periods and the Queensland Government supports their recommendation.
State and territory Ministers expressed concerns about enforcement of the Australian Government's Interactive Gambling Act 2001. Following discussion, the Australian Government has decided that the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy will undertake a review of the operation of the Act.
The review will include consideration of international regulatory approaches to online gambling and their potential applicability to the Australian context. It will also examine the ability to improve harm minimisation measures for online gambling services.
Warning messages on electronic gaming machines
The final proposal discussed at the meeting was the introduction of a warning message on electronic gaming machines. A trial on their use will be facilitated by Queensland. The Queensland Government is committed to supporting measures which will assist gamblers to stay in control of their gambling behaviours, but will not commit to new measures unless they are supported by evidence.
Fees and charges under the liquor and various gaming Acts increased from 1 July 2011. The increase equates to 3.0 per cent and is in line with the CPI for the period March 2010 to December 2010.
A complete list of all liquor and gaming fees and charges applicable from 1 July 2011 is available on this website.
Some of the more common liquor and gaming fees from 1 July 2011 are listed below.
Liquor application fee for:
|Transfer of a liquor licence||$274.75|
|Extended hours permit temporary||$55.15|
|Community liquor permit||$55.15|
|Name change of premises||$72.10|
|Registration of financial interest||$72.10|
|Temporary change of licence||$55.15|
Gaming application fee for:
|Grant of gaming nominee licence
|Renewal of gaming nominee licence||$208.95|
|Grant/renewal of gaming employee licence||$208.95|
|Gaming machine licence for a premises that is not licensed||$5,288.55|
|Gaming machine licence for a premises that is licensed||$2,505.80|
|Clubs increasing number of gaming machines by < 20||$138.90|
|Clubs increasing number of gaming machines by > 20||$697.00|
|- For each additional machine||$13.75|
|Hotels increasing number of gaming machines by < 10||$138.90|
|Hotels increasing number of gaming machines by > 10||$697.00|
|- For each additional machine||$13.75|
Fees for replacement/copies of licences:
|Gaming machine licence||$69.95|
|Gaming nominee and gaming employee licence||$30.70|
Since 29 November 2010 all licensed premises throughout Queensland are required to serve cold drinking water to patrons who request water at the bar. This preventative responsible service of alcohol measure is designed to help patrons manage their alcohol intake by ensuring they can intersperse alcoholic drinks with water.
Most licensed premises already provide free drinking water to patrons. Now, drinking water is available to all patrons in licensed venues across Queensland.
The rules require that staff at all licensed premises must serve a cold glass of water to a patron who requests water at the bar.
The water must be provided free of charge if:
- the licence for the premises is a commercial hotel licence, community club licence or commercial other - bar licence or
- the licensee holds a commercial public event permit or
- the licensee, regardless of the licence type, has approval to trade after midnight on any night of the week under an extended trading hours approval.
This means that casinos, nightclubs, cabarets and other late-night operators will be required to provide water to patrons free of charge. Free water must be provided during all hours that the premises is licensed to sell liquor for on-premises consumption—not just the hours when it is open after midnight.
Low-risk venues—such as restaurants—and all other licensed venues without approval to trade after midnight must continue to provide water at a 'reasonable cost' to alleviate the financial impact.
Licensees found in breach of the new water rules could face penalties of up to $4000.