NSW Study Could Mean No More Slots Play for Late-Night Gamblers

  • The study found a significant increase in gambling harm after midnight
  • An objective of the paper was to assess if closing venues earlier would help
  • NSW ILGA Chairperson said the regulator would use the study to make decisions
A person playing a slot machine
New research in NSW shows a significant link between late-night slot machine play and an increase in gambling-related harm. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

The New South Wales (NSW) gaming regulator in Australia is considering closing gaming venues at midnight due to the emergence of new problem gambling research.

negative consequences for two-thirds of people

A new study called “Electronic Gaming Machine (EGM) Late Night Play on EGM Player Behaviour” shows a significant increase in gambling-related harm when people play slot machines late at night and in the early hours of the morning. Playing slots, known as poker machines or pokies in Australia, between 2am and 8am has negative consequences for two-thirds of people, according to the study.

Roy Morgan Research conducted the study after receiving funding from the NSW government’s Responsible Gambling Fund. The body cooperated with ILGA and Gaming NSW on the study, one of the objectives being to assess if closing venues earlier would lead to lower gambling harm.

Commenting on the findings, NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) Chairperson Caroline Lamb said: “As part of our statutory obligation to minimize gaming-related harm, ILGA will make use of the study’s conclusions to inform future decisions.” She indicated that a new guideline will aid gaming venues to minimize gambling harm after midnight.

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