“Gary would not have taken any notice of those problem gambling signs in the venues,” she said. “It’s like if you’re an alcoholic or a drug addict, if you’re that far in [you need help].”
Gambling marshals monitor and engage with punters who may have a problem with poker machine gambling, similar to the way a responsible service of alcohol marshal operates.
Gary would not have taken any notice of those problem gambling signs.
Joy Van Duinen
Dee Why RSL paid $200,000 in costs and fines this year after an investigation by the regulator found it had offered illegal high-roller perks to Mr Van Duinen.
Investigators found a “general lack” of consideration for gambling harm, ordering the club to employ a full-time gambling marshal in July.
Mr Wilkie said “modest, additional protections” should be rolled out across Australia to prevent some of the 400 suicides per year related to gambling addictions.
“Right now, venue workers can blame everybody else for failing to protect gamblers, but if venues are required to have a full-time gambling marshal, the buck will finally stop somewhere,” he said.
“It’s a bit like saying some cars need to have seatbelts and brakes, but others don’t deserve them.”
NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said the Dee Why RSL case is a reminder of the damaging and tragic consequences of gambling addiction.
“Responsible conduct of gambling marshals and other arrangements will be considered as part of the government’s review of gaming machine-related harm minimisation measures,” he said.
A ClubsNSW spokesman said they have supported the “concept” of responsible gambling ambassadors for years.
“Discussions with both the regulator and the government have been progressing well and we look forward to saying more soon,” the spokesman said.
Gambling Help: 1800 858 858
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Nigel Gladstone is an investigative journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald.